Late-night talk shows such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Daily Show, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are set to shut down starting on Tuesday, as the writers for them have agreed to go on strike.
Further, other shows are expected to be impacted but a final decision has not yet been made on them. Those are Saturday Night Live, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
Seth Meyers, for his part, called the demands of the writing guild reasonable, saying, “I love writing. I love writing for TV. I love writing this show. I love that we get to come in with an idea for what we want to do every day and we get to work on it all afternoon and then I have the pleasure of coming out here. No one is entitled to a job in show business. But for those people who have a job, they are entitled to fair compensation. They are entitled to make a living. I think it’s a very reasonable demand that’s being set out by the guild. And I support those demands.”
An unnamed SNL star, speaking to Deadline about the situation, had a less positive view of the situation, saying, “We have to think about our crew too. I absolutely support the writers, and I want the writers to get what they deserve and need, but I don’t want our crew to be out of work. We can’t make this art without each other.”
Deadline, reporting on the situation and what makes this strike different from the last major Writers Guild strike to occur, said:
One of the issues in this year’s negotiation between the writers guild and the studios is also, in fact, surrounding late-night shows on streaming. As it stands, writers who work on “comedy variety programs made for new media,” such as Peacock’s The Amber Ruffin Show, do not qualify for MBA minimums, something the WGA has been fighting for.
Late-night showrunners have told Deadline that they will stay in touch with each other as the strike progresses to give a unified approach to the situation, something that didn’t happen in ’07-’08.
“I have been and will continue to talk to the other shows to see what they’re up to,” one showrunner said. “We’ve got to support the writers — our writers are amazing. That said, the rest of the staff is amazing, and I don’t want to see anybody lose their jobs or lose a paycheck. What’s the happy medium there? Figuring that out, it’s not been easy.”
The Writers Guild of America said, in a message sent to members to begin the strike, “Though we negotiated intent on making a fair deal – and though your strike vote gave us the leverage to make some gains – the studios’ responses to our proposals have been wholly insufficient, given the existential crisis writers are facing. We must now exert the maximum leverage possible to get a fair contract by withholding our labor. Members of the Negotiating Committee, Board and Council will be out with you on the picket lines.”
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) May 2, 2023
Commenting on podcaster Tim Pool’s post, people said things like “The funniest thing to come out of these shows in ages,” “AI will replace the writers in 2 years max,” and “Let’s start a go fund me for the writers and pay them not to go back to work ever.“
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