Press Room

Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Thursday September 19, 2019

Amy Schumer, Samantha Bee, John Oliver and 400+ Writers Urge Governor Cuomo to Sign TV Diversity Bill

NEW YORK, NY (September 19, 2019)— Over 400 film and television writers signed a petition urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the Television Diversity Tax Credit Bill, legislation that would allocate a small portion of New York’s highly successful Empire State Film Production Tax Credit to incentivize the hiring of women and people of color to write or direct television in New York. The petition was sent to the Governor’s office.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Robert Jackson and Assembly member Marcos Crespo and overwhelmingly passed the New York State Senate and Assembly during their most recent legislative session.

The petition was signed by Amy Schumer (INSIDE AMY SCHUMER), Samantha Bee (FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE), Ilana Glazer (BROAD CITY), Diana Son (13 REASONS WHY), John Oliver (LAST WEEK TONIGHT), Hannibal Buress (WHY? WITH HANNIBAL BURESS), Richard Price (THE NIGHT OF), Soo Hugh (THE TERROR), Aparna Nancherla (LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS), Heidi Schreck (WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME), Warren Leight (LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT), Lewis Black (THE DAILY SHOW), Katja Blichfeld (HIGH MAINTENANCE) Shari Springer Berman (THE NANNY DIARIES), Tom Fontana (CITY ON A HILL), Katori Hall (P-VALLEY), Julie Rottenberg (SEX & THE CITY), Tom Kelly (BLUE BLOODS), Lodge Kerrigan (THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE), Oren Moverman (THE MESSENGER), Robert Carlock (UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT), Ted Tally (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), Michael Torpey (PAID OFF WITH MICHAEL TORPEY), Michael Rauch (INSTINCT), Joseph Weisberg (THE AMERICANS), Lauren Ashley Smith (A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW), and Jim Taylor (SIDEWAYS), among others.

The petition reads, in part, “The time for studies, training programs and speeches has passed and the time to take meaningful action has arrived. A bill overwhelmingly approved by the State Senate and Assembly would create real opportunities for women and people of color to write and direct television in New York. If this bill becomes law, New York will be the place where progressive ideals intersect with workable solutions, a place that goes beyond talk to create meaningful change and real jobs. We strongly support S.5864A (Jackson)/A. 6683A (Crespo) and we urge the honorable Governor Cuomo to sign it into law.”

The full petition, which has been sent to the Governor’s office, can be downloaded here.

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, news and new media. 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


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