Late-night shows hosted by Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon have closed down amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, but the two hosts have announced that they will bear the salaries of their staffers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC will cover the salaries of the workers on Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ and Meyers’ ‘Late Night’ for two weeks. After that, Fallon and Meyers will contribute to their employees’ third-week salaries, including their health insurance, until September.
The move comes after the studio reportedly refused to pay salaries to staffers following the WGA strike. “At a meeting, Jimmy wasn’t even at, we are told NBC decided to stop paying us after this week and end our health insurance after this month if the strike is ongoing,” said ‘Tonight Show’ employee Sarah Kobos. “They won’t even tell us if we will technically be furloughed. Just active employees who aren’t paid.”
This is not the first time that late-night hosts have financially supported their staffers during a WGA strike. In 2007, the hosts had to bear the salaries of their employees for several months during the union talks with major Hollywood studios over pay.
The Hollywood writers’ strike has taken a toll on the late-night shows, with the shows being pulled off the air. The WGA strike began on Tuesday, May 2, after negotiations between the union and major Hollywood studios broke down. Over 11,500 film and television writers went on strike in support of better pay and working conditions.
The ongoing strike has affected several other shows, including ‘Saturday Night Live,’ which had to postpone its upcoming episodes. The strike is expected to continue until the union and the studios can reach a resolution.