Writers Strike News Roundup: Friday, Jan. 4
Leno Asked, Received Guild Permission Over Monologue
A controversy over Jay Leno’s penned monologue has ruffled Writers Guild of America feathers, but NBC is claiming the guild gave permission to Mr. Leno to write his own material, Deadline Hollywood Daily reports.
Sources said Mr. Leno met with WGA West president Patric Verrone on Monday and asked about his ability to write his own material. Mr. Verrone responded that the guild would look the other way, the blog reports.
Guild Denies Claims of Looking the Other Way
The Writers Guild of America refutes claims that it told Jay Leno it would look the other way if Mr. Leno wrote his own monologue, Deadline Hollywood Daily reports.
A WGA insider said Mr. Leno and Patric Verrone, WGA West president, met on Monday, but Mr. Leno wasn’t there to discuss his monologue. He was there to clarify how he didn’t want to seem like the bad guy in going back to work, the blog says.
The confusion might lie in what happened at the end of the meeting, when Mr. Leno said he was going to do his monologue, which the insider said was interpreted as ad-libbing as opposed to scripting the piece, the blog says.
Strike Poll Paints Dimmer Picture for Writers
In a December follow-up to a poll distributed by Daily Variety in November, job loss has increased, with 26% of respondents saying they’ve lost their jobs due to the strike. That’s compared to 16% in November, the newspaper reports.
Also more respondents said they view the WGA in a more negative light than in the last survey.
Fewer respondents said they believed the strike would turn out in the writers’ favor than in November, Daily Variety said.
The newspaper polled 616 of its subscribers for the survey.
Pants Deal Helps Writers’ Image
The Writers Guild of America’s deal with David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants has boosted the image of the guild, making the WGA look reasonable, Daily Variety reports.
The terms of the deal between the two sides are hush-hush, but industry insiders believe the deal includes residuals of 2.5% of accountable receipts, which could mean the distributor’s gross, the newspaper says.
That deal also overlaps online through free streaming and downloadable video, with a free three-day window for promotional purposes, the newspaper reports.
Directors, Producers Taking Their Time Over Negotiations
Informal talks between the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers have been occurring over the past week. These talks, which are trying to bring in the right people, could continue well into next week, the Hollywood Reporter says.
Once these informal talks end, the two sides should be at the negotiating table immediately, the newspaper says.