Your fave late-night shows to shut down as Hollywood writers strike begins
Your fave late-night shows are set to go dark today as a Hollywood writers’ strike begins.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced the decision to strike on Monday evening.
As of 12:01 am on Tuesday, more than 11,000 members of the US union representing TV and film writers have walked out.
This comes after six weeks of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to reach an agreement on a new film and scripted TV contract.
The AMPTP includes production studios like Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Discovery-Warner, NBC Universal, Paramount, and Sony.
“Though our Negotiating Committee began this process intent on making a fair deal, the studios’ responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing,” the WGA tweeted.
Though our Negotiating Committee began this process intent on making a fair deal, the studios’ responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing.
— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) May 2, 2023
The union says this crisis is due to companies’ creating “a gig economy inside a union workforce” which is “further devaluing the profession of writing.”
“From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a ‘day rate’ in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession,” said the WGA in a statement. “No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership.”
So, how does this affect viewers?
Well, it directly impacts production on your go-to shows. The first to be affected are late-night talk shows including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
According to Deadline, they are set to shut down today and will be airing re-runs.
Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon addressed the strike in an interview at the Met Gala on Monday, standing in solidarity with the writers.
“I wouldn’t have a show if it wasn’t for my writers, I support them all the way,” he said.
Last night a lot of A-list celebs were asked if they support the writers’ strike.
Jimmy Fallon said, “I wouldn’t have a show if it wasn’t for my writers, I support them all the way.”
Who else supports the strike? Thread. pic.twitter.com/EjlRWiRXd3
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) May 2, 2023
Saturday Night Live may also be affected. The coming episode is set to be hosted by alumnus Pete Davidson, but with the strike, that is now up in the air.
The Writers Guild of Canada shared its support for the cause in a statement released on Tuesday.
“The compensation issues raised by WGA writers are the same concerns affecting writers around the world,” it said.
This is the first WGA strike since 2007. Back then, shows like The Office and Conan were affected. Their stars supported writers in the most iconic ways.
Steve Carell calling in sick to not come into the set of The Office on the first day of the writers strike is one of my favorite stories from that time period. https://t.co/MtLkADixyh pic.twitter.com/9Y3ItiMJui
— Chase Snyder (@ChasingSnyder) May 2, 2023
This is true. Here’s Conan spinning his wedding ring during the 2007 writers’ strike just to fill airtime. It was like this for months.
NBC was lucky that Conan is the GOAT, but it’s impossible to explain to Gen Z how bad the content will get if there’s another one. https://t.co/tNkduyiNac pic.twitter.com/5Eo1WqQG0l
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) May 2, 2023
This is just one of many labour strikes that have been across North America.
Canadian federal workers went on strike in mid-April, affecting passport applications and renewals.