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Writers Strike Shuts Late-Night Shows Down

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Viewers of late-night comedy programs will be seeing reruns this week, as more than 11,000 television and film writers went on strike after negotiations over a new contract stalled.


The strike will affect a host of late-night shows, including "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," and "Late Night with Seth Meyers." 

Over on "The View," Whoopi Goldberg warned the audience how the show would be without the writers. 

In a statement, the Writer's Guild explained why the decision to strike was made. 

"The WGA Negotiating Committee began this process intent on making a fair deal, but the studios' responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing," the statement said, according to People. "The companies' behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to 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. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership."


The existing contract between the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — which includes Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony — officially expired at 12 a.m. PT, kicking off the walkout.

Writers have been seeking a major overhaul in compensation for streaming residuals, as well as higher pay overall, greater protections and a solution to the increase of "mini-rooms" in which a small group of writers pen multiple scripts for a show's potential first season prior to production beginning.

As Deadline notes, both the WGA and the AMPTP agree that despite a content boom in recent years, writers are bringing in less money overall. Ideas on how to fix the problem, unfortunately, is where the conflict originates. "WGA proposals would gain writers approximately $429 million per year; AMPTP's offer is approximately $86 million per year, 48% of which is from the minimums increase," the guild said, according to the outlet. (People)

The last strike to hit the industry in 2007, which lasted 100 days, led to billions in lost profits and affected other areas such as catering, hair and makeup, costumes, and more. Depending on how long this one continues, fall television and movies could be impacted.  



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