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With Hollywood writers on strike for the first time in 15 years, late night talk shows are among the first to be impacted by the work stoppage.
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, CBS’ Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers are all shutting down after the Writers Guild of America called a strike Monday night and will air reruns for the time being. Comedy Central’s The Daily Show is also shutting down and will air repeats, and HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver are going dark as well. Later Tuesday, NBC’s Saturday Night Live also shut down.
Colbert and Meyers both addressed a possible strike on their shows Monday — which were taped before the guild called the work stoppage.
“Without [our writers] this show would be called The Late Show With a Guy Rambling About Lord of the Rings and Boats for an Hour,” Colbert joked. “This negotiation affects our whole staff, who work so hard to bring you this show every night, which is why everybody, including myself, hopes both sides reach a deal.”
He continued, “I support collective bargaining. This nation owes so much to unions. They’re the reason we have weekends, and by extension, why we have TGI Fridays. So the next time you enjoy a whiskey-glazed blaze burger, you thank a union.”
Meyers also expressed support for the union and his writers, saying, “Strong writing is essential to this show — it’s essential to any show where the host, like myself, is at best a C+ performer. I really gotta have the jokes. I love writing, I love writing for TV and for this show.
“No one is entitled to a job in show business, but for those who have a job in show business, they are entitled to fair compensation. They’re entitled to make a living — I think it’s a very reasonable demand that’s being put out by the guild, and I support those demands.”
The Writers Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing studios and streamers, called off negotiations Monday night, after which the guild called for a strike. The writers’ contract with studios expired Monday; the union’s demands include increased residuals for streaming programs, data transparency, minimum staffing levels for writers rooms and regulations on the use of artificial intelligence in writing.
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