Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers pledge to give staff some pay during writers' strike
Employees of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "Late Night With Seth Meyers" will continue to be paid for at least some duration of the WGA strike.
After late-night TV became the first casualty when the walkout by Hollywood writers began Tuesday, staff of the shows were informed that they would receive at least three weeks of wages while production on the programs was shut down, The Times has confirmed.
NBC intends to pay two weeks of salary to staff members, while Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers have pledged to fund a third week, according to people with knowledge of the agreement. Meanwhile, healthcare for the show's employees will continue through September. The information was relayed to employees Wednesday morning during production calls. Fallon and Meyers, who typically don't participate in the calls, each took time to address the staff.
NBC declined to comment about the agreement.
A nonunion "Tonight Show" staffer, Sarah Kobos, who describes herself as a as a senior photo research coordinator on her Twitter bio, tweeted about the development a day after she posted that staffers were initially told their compensation could cease after this week, and healthcare after this month, if the strike continued.
Both Meyers and Fallon have publicly voiced their support of their writing staffs in the days leading up to the walkout by members of the Writers Guild of America.
“Look, no one is entitled to a job in show business. But for those people who have a job in show business, they are entitled to fair compensation," Meyers said when he addressed the strike during a taping of his show Monday night. "They are entitled to make a living. I think it’s a very reasonable demand that is being set out by the guild, and I support those demands. But I also believe that everybody at the table right now, be it from the writer side or the studio side, knows that the future of this business is dependent on storytellers.”
Other late-night talks shows that have stopped production include ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," CBS' "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" and "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver."
When late-night went dark during the last writers strike, which spanned 100 days from 2007 to 2008, the hosts at that time — David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Kimmel — each vowed to pay their crews out of their own pockets while their shows were off the air.
A similar move was adopted by late-night hosts when their productions were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.