WGA, West tells members to stop work on some Comedy Central shows

Host Stephen Colbert appears on "The Colbert Report," which is among the Comedy Central shows that has an agreement with the Writers Guild of America. The WGA, West has asked writers on some new Comedy Central projects that don't to stop work.
(Scott Gries / PictureGroup)

The Writers Guild of America, West is ordering writers who work on some Comedy Central shows to put down their pens.

In a letter send to members Monday, guild leaders told members to not work on any Comedy Central shows without first checking with the union to ensure the writing is “guild-covered.”

The union said the action came about after the guild learned that Central Productions -- the production arm for Comedy Central -- hired writers on more than two dozen new projects earlier this year without first securing deals with the guild.


The WGA did not say which shows were affected by the stop work notice, but said it has been negotiating with Central Productions to secure contracts for those shows.

“No other major entertainment company has treated writers and their Guild so cavalierly,” the letter stated. “It is never easy to ask a fellow member to stop working. We understand all too well that such a call comes with the real possibility of personal sacrifice. We do not do it lightly. But the principle that we work, all of us, under a contract with certain basic protections that may not be undercut and that may not be re-negotiated, member-by-member and case-by-case, is the cornerstone of our strength.”

Since 2007, the Writers Guild has negotiated individual agreements with writers on Comedy Central’s top-rated shows, including “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report.”

Viacom-owned Comedy Central said in a statement: “We’re continuing to move forward on our negotiations with the Writers Guild and are hopeful that we’ll come to an agreement soon.”


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