Javier Grillo-Marxuach, a veteran of the TV space who has most recently served as both a writer and EP on Netflix’s The Witcher — prior to the start of the dual strikes — has come forward to address accusations of “scabbing” prompted by his posts on social media.
Grillo-Marxuach joins a growing list of guild members, between WGA and SAG-AFTRA, that have faced harsh rebukes from peers of activity that is, in fact, guild-approved. Inciting this particular incident were social posts promoting the aforementioned fantasy drama, which as he notes, were made with WGA dictates in mind.
“Today i was accused of scabbing for posting about, and showing the title card and promo for #TheWitcher – which i did of my own volition and not at the request of my corporate overlords – and for engaging with fans of the show,” wrote Grillo-Marxuach. “While my actions are completely within the guild’s strike rules as you can see below, i can also understand how they can offend others and appear as a lapse in solidarity.”
The creative went on to convey that he would be taking the offending posts down, while at the same time offering a clarifier. “i am not doing this to admit fault or by way of apology but to make sure that my loyalty to the guild and commitment to the strike are without question,” he wrote.
The policy referenced by Grillo-Marxuach is that “You must refuse promoting a project at a struck company’s request,” per the WGA. “However, it is not a violation to talk about your projects on your own accord or on social media.” He went on to add, in his recent Twitter thread speaking to his conduct, “these are strange and difficult times and it is important to keep in mind who the real enemies are. #wga #wgastrong… this is why we can’t have nice things.”
Guild policies of this sort, from both the actors and writers guilds — and those governing SAG Interim Agreements, in particular — have emerged as some of the most discussed and controversial topics at a time of heightened emotions for those who make their living in entertainment, most of which are directed at the AMPTP, the collective bargaining group appointed to rep studios and streamers in triennial negotiations. Through an interim agreement, like those obtained by over 100 film and TV productions to date, a number of actors affiliated with non-AMPTP projects have been granted the chance to work, either by shooting or promoting their works from “truly independent producers.” But at the same time, in a Hollywood shut down by a pair of historic contractual disputes, electing to use that right when so many others are unable to do their jobs can result in being called a scab. This is likely at least in part what was considered when Academy Award winner Viola Davis shared that she and her fellow producers on the MRC film G20 will not go into production in these conditions —again, generating strong opinions — given the conviction that to do so would not be “appropriate.”
Notably, Grillo-Marxuach has also made headlines of late as a whistleblower alleging abuses while at work on the hit ABC series Lost made in both the recent Maureen Ryan book Burn it Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood and on Twitter. Even if he finds himself under fire at the moment, it should be noted, there are other notable creatives under the same social pressures that have come to his defense. “Dude don’t beat yourself up or even worry about it,” wrote Full Circle scribe Ed Solomon in response to the writer’s posts. “The reason the guild allows us to do exactly what you did is they realized that writers not being associated with their own work also hurts writers. They’re trying to walk a fine & imperfect line. And so are you. As are we all.”
“If you were to be boiled alive for your transgressions, would you prefer it to be in soup or a stew?” joked another Twitter user named Marc Isaacs, to which he inquired, “could i be ground up and served in a loaf?”
An adaptation of the acclaimed fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher returned for the second of two volumes making up its third season on July 27th. Scroll through the post below for Grillo-Marxuach’s remarks.
Content Source: deadline.com