'SNL' postproduction editors are prepared to strike: ‘Everyone who works here is on the same page’
NEW YORK — The editors who work behind the scenes at “Saturday Night Live” are making their voices heard and are prepared to strike.
On Jan. 12, the “SNL” staff members who create the comedy series’ pretaped programming approved a strike authorization vote, Variety reports. The editors unionized with the Motion Picture Editors Guild last October.
Although bargaining sessions have been taking place with NBC, an agreement has not been reached. There is still no framework in place, with the main issues reported to surround “healthcare plans.”
SNL cast members showed their support at the end of last week’s Feb. 3 episode. During the credit scroll, James Austin Johnson and Colin Jost could be seen sporting “Contract Now” T-shirts.
A group of postproduction editors were also handing out leaflets to people entering 30 Rock prior to the episode. An online petition for the workers has already garnered over 1,000 signatures.
“We work very long hours with quick turnarounds,” one source who works for the show told the Daily News. “Postproduction deserves their union contract because of the work they do, and because of how crucial they are to the show’s video sketches.”
One of those quick turnarounds was captured in the widely popular Mario Kart sketch which aired last week, featuring host Pedro Pascal and heavy visual effects.
“That should take weeks, [it’s] done in two days,” said another source who spoke with Variety, explaining that many editors work well into the night and at all hours to ensure the sketches are ready to air on Saturday night. The editors believe their efforts should warrant better benefits in their contract.
“We’ve gotten support from the actual show itself, and they’ve been very supportive. It’s NBC holding it back,” said the source.
The show is currently on a two-week break, but “everybody is ready to [strike] when necessary. We’ve all agreed that when ‘enough is enough,’ we’re looking at NBC.”
“Everyone who works here is on the same page and understands how valued and important post-production is,” The News’ production insider said.