Top Comedy-Variety Writers To ITV: “We Are One Guild”

NEW YORK, NY (JANUARY 26, 2015) – More than 175 prominent comedy/variety writers, including a number who appear on-air, have signed a petition urging ITV to enter a collective bargaining agreement covering its nonfiction writer-producers.

“We are one Guild,” the petition states. “By refusing to agree to a Guild contract protecting its nonfiction writers and producers, ITV is also showing the back of its hand to us, the men and women who would write comedy/variety shows for ITV – in particular, the men and women ITV apparently expects to write a major new series for NBC starring Neil Patrick Harris.”

The petition has been signed by comedy/variety writers who work on top comedy/variety programs, including THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON, INSIDE AMY SCHUMER and THE COLBERT REPORT.  These writers join elected officials at federal, state, and city levels; the labor movements in the U.S., the U.K., and globally; and ITV’s writer-producers themselves urging ITV to stop its years of obstruction at the negotiating table and to enter an agreement with the Guild.

“Strangely, ITV expects to hire Guild members to write the Neil Patrick Harris show while simultaneously breaching its duty to negotiate a contract covering Guild-represented employees who write and produce nonfiction/reality shows for major cable television networks,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “This petition is a clear message to ITV that this is unacceptable, that a major media conglomerate which expects to build and expand its presence in American television must treat all of its writers and writer-producers with respect.”

The National Labor Relations Board is conducting an investigation of unfair labor practice charges alleging that ITV has failed to bargain in good faith and has violated federal labor law. The unfair labor practice charges stem from ITV’s unilateral decision to slash Guild-represented employees’ compensation by $300 a month and to implement a health insurance plan with deductibles so high that employees would never get paid any actual benefits except if they were hospitalized for long periods (and even then they would pay many thousands of dollars out of their own pockets). These charges come in the wake of a letter sent late last year to ITV CEO Adam Crozier from British Member of Parliament Helen Goodman, the Shadow Minister for Culture, the Creative Industries and Communications, that expressed concern about ITV’s refusal to follow standard U.S. labor practices.

The petition in full:

We are comedy-variety writers who work under collective bargaining agreements negotiated by the Writers Guild.  This enables us to build sustainable careers doing work we care about, and to focus on creating material that audiences enjoy.  This is the same thing the men and women who write and produce ITV’s nonfiction television programs want, and deserve.  We call upon ITV to agree to a Writers Guild contract covering its nonfiction work.

By refusing to agree to a Guild contract protecting its nonfiction writers and producers, ITV is also showing the back of its hand to us, the men and women who would write comedy/variety shows for ITV – in particular, the men and women ITV apparently expects to write a major new series for NBC starring Neil Patrick Harris.

We are one Guild – not separate unions based on genre or TV network.  There is not a Guild for people who write comedy/variety, a separate Guild for daytime serial writers, a separate Guild for news writers and producers, a separate Guild for feature film writers, a separate Guild for nonfiction writers and producers.  ITV cannot expect to take advantage of the talent and experience of Writers Guild members who do comedy/variety while disrespecting the talent and experience of its nonfiction writer-producers.

Signatures:

  • Doug Abeles (Politically Incorrect; SNL)
  • Jonathan Adler (The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Alison Agosti (Late Night with Seth Meyers)
  • Leo Allen (SNL; Comedy Bang! Bang!; Review)
  • George Anagnostakos (Friends of the People)
  • Rory Albanese (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Leo Allen (SNL; Comedy Bang! Bang!; Review)
  • Emily Altman (Inside Amy Schumer; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death)
  • Dan Amira (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Chiara Atik (Hey Girl)
  • Kevin Avery (Totally Biased with Kamau Bell; Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)
  • Jennifer Bartels (Friends of the People)
  • Jeremy Beiler (Bunk; Inside Amy Schumer; SNL)
  • Chris Belair (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Walter Allen Bennett , Jr. (In the House; The Steve Harvey Show; Mr. Box Office)
  • Lewis Black (Just for Laughs; In God We Rust; Lewis Black: Old Yeller – Live at the Borgata)
  • Emmy Blotnick (Nikki & Sara Live!; Best Week Ever)
  • Steve Bodow (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Patrick Borelli (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Janine Brito (Totally Biased with Kamau Bell)
  • Michael Brumm (The Colbert Report)
  • Eric Bryant (Bunk)
  • Alex Buly (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Kim Camarale (Inside Amy Schumer)
  • Kay Cannon (30 Rock; New Girl)
  • Robert Carlock (Friends; 30 Rock; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • Tim Carvell (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)
  • Hallie Cantor (Inside Amy Schumer)
  • Jordan Carlos (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Neil Casey (SNL; Inside Amy Schumer; Kroll Show)
  • Cory Cavin (Model Wife)
  • Nate Chary (The Colbert Report)
  • Shannon Coffey (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)
  • Aaron Cohen (The Colbert Report)
  • Ann Cohen (Best Week Ever)
  • Luke Cunningham (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Joe DeRosa (The Pete Holmes Show)
  • Craig DiGregorio (The League; Chuck; Workaholics)
  • Janine DiTullio (Late Night with Conan O’Brien; Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)
  • Bryan Donaldson (Late Night with Seth Meyers)
  • Daniel Dratch (The Chris Rock Show; Monk; Anger Management)
  • Mike Drucker (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Eric Drysdale (The Colbert Report)
  • Rob Dubbin (The Colbert Report)
  • Ariel Dumas (The Colbert Report)
  • Cirocco Dunlap (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)
  • Jess Dweck (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon)
  • Dicky Eagan (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Grace Edwards (Inside Amy Schumer)
  • Brian Egeston (House of Payne; The Rickey Smiley Show)
  • Glenn Eichler (The Colbert Report)
  • Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City)
  • Lee Ellenberg (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Caroline Eppright (The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Donald Epstein (Country Music Awards)
  • Morgan Evans (Best Week Ever)
  • Tamara Federici (Important Things with Demetri Martin)
  • Brian Faas (Best Week Ever)
  • Nate Fernald (The Pete Holmes Show)
  • Lang Fisher (The Onion News Network; 30 Rock; The Mindy Project)
  • Matt Flanagan (Late Show with David Letterman; Love Bites; Bad Teacher)
  • Travon Free (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • J. Fried (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Jena Friedman (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Bobby Gaylor (The Bernie Mac Show; The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Judy Gold (The Rosie O’Donnell Show)
  • Jill Goodwin (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Will Graham (The Onion News Network; Alpha House)
  • Nato Green (Totally Biased with Kamau Bell)
  • Gabe Gronli (The Colbert Report)
  • Joe Grossman (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Peter Grosz (The Colbert Report; Late Night with Seth Meyers)
  • Dan Gurewitch (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)
  • Lauren Gurganous (30 Rock)
  • Peter Gwinn (The Colbert Report; Alpha House)
  • Hallie Haglund (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Joe Hampton (Meet the Browns; House of Payne)
  • John Harris (The Onion News Network)
  • R. Havlan (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Jack Helmuth (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Robin Henry (Meet the Browns, House of Payne, The Rickey Smiley Show)
  • Cord Jefferson (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Krister Johnson (Wet Hot American Summer)
  • Colin Jost (SNL)
  • Barry Julien (The Colbert Report)
  • Elliott Kalan (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Jay Katsir (The Colbert Report)
  • Noah Kaufman (Best Week Ever)
  • Louis Katz (Totally Biased with Kamau Bell)
  • Chris Kelly (The Late Show with David Letterman, Politically Incorrect, Real Time with Bill Maher)
  • Aaron Kheifets (The Onion News Network)
  • Sam Kim (The Colbert Report)
  • Matt Kirsch (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Julie Klausner (The Big Gay Sketch Show; Best Week Ever; Mulaney)
  • Jessi Klein (SNL; Kroll Show; Inside Amy Schumer)
  • Matthew Klinman (Dr. Good)
  • James Kocot (The Tracey Ullman Show)
  • Matt Koff (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Lisa Lampanelli (Lisa Lampanelli: Take It Like A Man; Lisa Lampanelli:Long Live the Queen)
  • Matt Lappin (The Colbert Report)
  • Mike Leech (The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • John Leguizamo (House of Buggin’; John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown; Fugly!)
  • Frank Lesser (The Colbert Report)
  • Adam Lowitt (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Sara Lukinson (Kennedy Center Honors)
  • Henriette Mantel (The Awful Truth)
  • John Marshall (The Chris Rock Show; Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn)
  • Jay Martel (TV Nation; The Awful Truth; Key and Peele)
  • Brian McCann (Late Night with Conan O’Brien; Conan)
  • Dan McCoy (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • David McHugh (The Late Show with David Letterman; Love Bites; Bad Teacher)
  • Brendan McLaughlin (Nikki & Sara Live!; Best Week Ever)
  • Tim Meadows (SNL)
  • Sam Means (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; 30 Rock; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
  • Kurt Metzger (Inside Amy Schumer)
  • Arthur Meyer (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Jo Miller (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Dan Mirk (The Onion News Network; SNL)
  • Chase Mitchell (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Opus Moreschi (The Colbert Report)
  • Bobby Mort (The Colbert Report)
  • Gerard Mulligan (Late Night with David Letterman; Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Hester Mundis (The Joan Rivers Show)
  • Aparna Nancherla (Totally Biased with Kamau Bell)
  • Christine Nangle (SNL; Inside Amy Schumer; Kroll Show)
  • Chioke Nassor (Late Night with Seth Meyers)
  • Justin Nowell (Eastbound & Down; Friends with Better Lives)
  • Steve O’Donnell (Late Show with David Letterman; Seinfeld; Jimmy Kimmel Live!)
  • John Oliver (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)
  • Amy Ozols (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; Guys With Kids; The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Zhubin Parang (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Owen Parsons (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Josh Patten (SNL)
  • Bobby Patton (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)
  • Michael Pielocik (The Onion News Network; The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Dan Powell (Inside Amy Schumer)
  • Daniel Radosh (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Katie Rich (SNL)
  • Jon Rineman (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon)
  • Albertina Rizzo (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon)
  • Matt Roberts (Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Craig Rowin (@Midnight)
  • Charlie Rubin (In Living Color; Seinfeld; The Jon Stewart Show)
  • Tom Ruprecht (The Late Show with David Letterman; The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Chris Sartinsky (The Onion News Network; Dr. Good)
  • Lauren Sarver (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • Sara Schaefer (Nikki & Sara Live!)
  • Bill Scheft (Late Night with David Letterman; The Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Sarah Schneider (SNL)
  • Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer)
  • Mike Scollins (SNL)
  • Justin Shanes (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; Nikki & Sara Live!)
  • Scott Sherman (The Colbert Report; Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)
  • Ryan Shiraki (Jonas; Funny or Die)
  • Tim Siedell (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Chuck Sklar (The Chris Rock Show; Everybody Hates Chris; Totally Biased with Kamau Bell)
  • Andrew Smith (SNL; Politically Incorrect; The View)
  • Lauren Smith (Best Week Ever)
  • Owen Smith (Are We There Yet?; Whitney, The Arsenio Hall Show)
  • Brandon Snider (Inside Amy Schumer)
  • Jen Statsky (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; Parks and Recreation; Broad City)
  • Sasha Stewart (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Jeff Stilson (The Late Show with David Letterman; The Chris Rock Show; Lopez Tonight)
  • Robin Thede (The Queen Latifah Show; The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Bryan Tucker (Mad TV; SNL)
  • Bonnie Turner (SNL; Whoopi; That 70s Show)
  • Dani Vetere (Nikki & Sara Live!)
  • Holly Walker (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Nelson Walters (Best Week Ever)
  • Ben Warheit (Late Night with Seth Meyers)
  • Max Werner (The Colbert Report)
  • Colleen Werthmann (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore)
  • Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock; The Mindy Project)
  • Matt Williams (Roseanne; Home Improvement; Saint George)
  • Adam Winer (Best Week Ever)
  • Delaney Yeager (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
  • David Young (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon)
  • Steve Young (Late Night with David Letterman; Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Alan Zweibel (SNL; It’s Gary Shandling’s Show; Good Sports; Monk)

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

# # #