October 3, 2023

Gavin Newsom said in an interview today that he has been “deeply involved with talking” to both sides of the long-running Writers Guild strike and “we’re going to be meeting again later this week.”

In an exclusive sit-down with Dana Bash, clips of which aired on CNN, the California governor responded to her question by saying he hasn’t been out on the picket line — as New York Gov. Kathy Hochul briefly was last month — but said he’s in “a different position.”

When she asked why, he continued: “[I’m] trying to be constructive on both sides, to utilize the formal authority I have as governor, the convening capacity I have as governor, the moral authority I can bring into the conversation to try to get everybody to the table.

Newsom added: “I’m encouraged by the conversations over this last weekend. I’m not going to overstate that, and I’m encouraged that they’re meeting again later this week.”

Bash then noted that Newsom supports the United Auto Workers in its strike against the Big 3 U.S. automakers “but you don’t want to go that far when it comes to” WGA and SAG-AFTRA.

“That’s the same question,” he replied. “I absolutely support what their concerns are. I support WGA and SAG as it relates to their existential stress as it related to streaming and how it’s radically changing the business model, as it relates to artificial intelligence. One thing I know about artificial intelligence is that we don’t know what we don’t know. And that anxiety stacked upon all the stress and anxiety that we’ve all been feeling around income and wealth disparities and all the challenges post-pandemic that we’ve gone through makes the perfect stew of stress that’s leading to a lot of anxiety that we’re experiencing all across the country.”

He added: “You’re seeing it more broadly as labor’s exercising more muscle out of more fear and stress about the world we’re living in. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think, fundamentally, that’s a good thing. I believe in collective bargaining. I believe working families and the working poor do better when they organize together. … There’s not a state in our nation that does more to support that framework and those bargaining units.”

When Bash said experts estimate that the writer and actor strikes already have cost the state $5 billion — and Newsom interrupted, saying, “Probably more.”

You can watch CNN’s full Newsom interview above; the WGA strike discussion starts at the 6:45 mark.

Tom Tapp contributed to this report.

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