Out of work and with their staff writers on the picket lines, five late-night TV hosts are using their new-found free time to create a podcast.
(Bloomberg) — Out of work and with their staff writers on the picket lines, five late-night TV hosts are using their new-found free time to create a podcast.
Strike Force Five will feature Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Seth Meyers discussing the work stoppages for at least 12 episodes. Spotify Technology SA is producing the program, but it premieres Wednesday for free on all podcast platforms.
Spotify has lined up sponsors, including Mint Mobile and liquor giant Diageo Plc. All compensation received by the hosts will go to the out-of-work staffs of their respective shows.
“When the WGA strike started in May of this year, this elite group of suddenly unemployed talk show hosts gathered via the miracle of Zoom,” according to a press release announcing the podcast. “Their idea was to meet every week to discuss the serious issues a work stoppage creates. What happened instead was a series of hilarious and compelling conversations.”
Late-night programming went on hiatus after screenwriters began striking on May 2 following failed contract negotiations with the film and TV studios that employ them. The Writers Guild of America has been seeking protections against artificial intelligence, minimum staffing requirements on shows and additional compensation for hit streaming programs. Though union negotiators met recently with the studios, an agreement has yet to be reached.
Read more: Screenwriters Say Studios’ Offer on AI Doesn’t Go Far Enough
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