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Comedy writers move to unionize

Times Staff Writer

Writers from six Los Angeles-based shows on Comedy Central Network are seeking to join the Writers Guild of America, union officials said Thursday.

The 35 writers from shows including “Mind of Mencia,” “The Sarah Silverman Program,” “The Showbiz Show with David Spade” and the upcoming “American Body Shop” signed cards requesting to be represented by the union.

“The other people working on our productions are represented by unions,” said Mary Fitzgerald, a writer on “American Body Shop.” “It’s crazy that we’re not.”

Comedy Central said it “respects the rights of our writers to decide if they want to be represented by the WGA” but accused union leaders of spurning an offer to “promptly begin negotiating contracts for each of our current live action shows.”

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The move is the first step in the process toward joining the union representing Hollywood writers, which has been waging a broad effort to secure union pay and benefits for writers who work in basic cable television as well as reality TV and animation.

Writers at Comedy Central hits “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” recently organized with the guild.

richard.verrier@latimes.com


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