Charlie Kaufman Slams Industry Suits At WGA Awards: “They Cannot Do Anything Of Value Without Us”
06.03.2023 - 05:09
The Oscar winning scribe of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind delivered a spot-on acceptance speech for his WGA Laurel Award honor, ripe for times as the WGA squares off with the AMPTP in another round of contract talks.
“We are trained to believe that what we do is secondary to what they do,” said Charlie Kaufman taking a dig at studio execs. The WGA issued their Pattern of Demands on Feb. 27.
“We are trained to do the bidding of people who are motivated not by curiosity but who are protecting their jobs,” the filmmaker added to what was the first round of enormous applause at the Fairmont Hotel ballroom tonight.
“Our work is to not contribute to their fortunes or our own, it is not to please them or critics or audiences,” he said, “Our work is to reflect the world, saying what is true in the face of so much lying.”
“The rest is window dressing at best,” he continued.
“Adrienne Rich wrote ‘I do know that art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage,” Kaufman said to another round of cheers.
“The world is a mess, the world is beautiful, the world is impossibly complicated and we have the opportunity to explore that.”
“If we give that up for the carrot, then we might as well be the executives,” the Being John Malkovich scribe added, “We have become their minions. I have dropped the ball, wasted years seeking the approval of people with money.”
“Don’t get trapped in their world of box office numbers! We don’t work for them!” Kaufman exclaimed to a third round of applause.
“We don’t work for the world of box office numbers, we work for the world.”
He encouraged the scribes in the room to write honest stories.
“They tricked us into thinking we can’t do it without