Hollywood Writers Go on Strike, Late Night Comedy Shows Including Jimmy Kimmel Hit Hardest

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BY: DAVID NG 1 May 2023

Hollywood writers walked off the job late Monday after the major studios failed to reach a new contract with the Writers Guild of America, throwing numerous TV shows and streaming series into jeopardy.

Among the hardest hit will be the late-night comedy shows, including those hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, who rely on teams of writers to think up their nightly monologues in which they frequently rail against conservatives and all things Trump.

The Writers Guild of America authorized the strike Monday night after negotiations with the studios and networks failed to produce an agreement. It will mark the first time Hollywood writers have walked off the job since the 2007-2008 strike, which lasted three months and brought the industry to a virtual standstill.

Hollywood writers, who could start picketing studios as early as Tuesday, are demanding more generous compensation as the streaming revolution continues to takeover the industry. The guild has argued that the shorter seasons favored by streaming services — with most shows having ten or fewer episodes per season — have been detrimental to writers, who must find work on multiple shows to make ends meet.

Streaming has also decreased the residuals writers get paid for their work on TV shows, since reruns and syndication are no longer as prevalent as they once were.

The complaints are similar to the ones the guild made during the last negotiation in 2017, when Hollywood averted a writers strike at the last minute.

In addition to late-night comedy shows, network series that are scheduled to being taping this summer for a fall air date are also facing uncertainty. In some cases, writers have handed in their scripts early in anticipation of the strike.

The WGA represents tens of thousands of Hollywood writers as well as some newsrooms, including MSNBC, where the guild represents news writers, producers, and fact checkers. It remains unclear how the strike will impact the far-left cable news network’s daily operations.

The WGA also represents workers at the left-wing Slate, HuffPost, and Vox Media.

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