Corporation vs. Employee: Food and Retail Union Asks Melissa McCarthy, Nancy Meyers, and Dee Rees to withdraw from directing the adverts with Walmart
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), having launched an official campaign against Walmart for mistreatment of female employees, has now targeted a move by the corporation to host 60-second advertisements directed by Melissa McCarthy, Nancy Meyers, and Dee Rees at the 2018 Academy Awards.
“Walmart is Attempting to Highjack the #MeToo Movement,” Union told The Scope Weekly.
UFCW’s effort, Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) explicitly states that the 55 percent of women who make up the chain’s staff are victims of LGBT discrimination, untenably low beginning salaries, bad health care, disciplinary action for leave of absence, racial discrimination, and no paid maternity leave for part-time employees.
Speaking to the Scope Weekly by phone, UFCW representative Amy Ritter has stated that the union has explicitly asked McCarthy, Meyers, and Rees to step aside from their directorial duties in light of these accusations. “The reason that we are choosing this time to talk about Walmart’s track record with women is that they are going out of their way to choose three, very prominent female celebrities to produce adverts for the Oscars this year,” she said. “They are hijacking the Times Up, #MeToo, female empowerment social movements. Last year, they hired three male directors for their Oscar commercials, as part of their partnership with the Academy. Now, they’re taking advantage of the pro-women movement, and we’re out here giving people the opportunity to call out Walmart’s hypocrisy, showing the real track record that they have with their own female workforce.”
Online Petition gathering signatures
That opportunity has manifested as an online petition, headed by UFCW secretary-treasurer Esther Lopez, specifically calling upon Melissa McCarthy, Nancy Meyers, and Dee Rees to withdraw from directing the adverts and to take definitive stances against the corporation. The petition also noted the Trump Administration’s cancellation of an Obama policy, requiring companies like Walmart to submit government reports regarding salaries relating to an employee’s gender and race. Ritter has stated that she finds the Walmart commercials particularly egregious because of the excess involved.
Walmart is spending all of these millions of dollars to produce Oscar commercials, when they could be providing, among other things, solid health care for their 300,000 female workers, Ritter said.
In spite of vigorous efforts, UFCW has presently not heard back from any of the three women currently involved. Yet there is no denying that in an era where those previously untouchable have been brought to their knees, efforts to hold the powerful accountable have had a potency like never before.
Ritter has stated that for the first time it feels like there is a real chance for petitions and campaigns like MCAW to hold sway on powerful conglomerates, like Walmart and Hollywood. “There’s definitely been a conscious change with regards to how society views these issues,” she said. “As a union representing commercial retail and food workers, we definitely see that shift taking on the way women are treated in the workplace. Society is really starting to listen to that.”
A few months ago, The Scope Weekly took a look at how the entertainment industry reacted to the #MeToo movement and the charges of sexual harassments at work, it’s time that Hollywood embraces women in work areas outside of the industry.
At the time of publishing, The Scope Weekly had not heard back from McCarthy, Meyers, and Rees’ camps or the Walmart corporation. If we hear back and new information is provided, the story will be updated accordingly.
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