The Writers Guild of America announced in a memo on Tuesday that executive director David Young will go on medical leave, with assistant executive director Ellen Stutzman replacing him as chief negotiator in the guild’s upcoming contract talks with Hollywood studios.

“Ellen has earned the confidence and full support of the WGAW Board, WGAE Council, and the WGA Negotiating Committee. She will lead a staff with decades of experience negotiating and enforcing the MBA, and organizing and mobilizing members to support the Guilds’ contract campaigns,” read a statement from WGA leadership. “We know we speak for the entire WGAW and WGAE memberships in wishing David a full recovery.”

Stutzman has served as assistant executive director at the WGA since 2018 and has 17 years of experience at the guild. A graduate of Cornell with an MBA from UCLA, Stutzman began her tenure at WGA as a researcher and later became the director of research and public policy for the guild.

Under Young, Stutzman has held oversight over the Agency, Contracts, Legal, and Research & Public Policy departments, and has played a key role in the last three rounds of bargaining talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as well as the campaign by the guild to eliminate packaging fees and majority ownership of affiliate production companies from talent agencies.


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