Jay Leno Could Be Yanked From Writer’s Guild

When Jay Leno went on the air during the writer’s strike last year he performed his own material. The Writers Guild of America is considering tossing him out because of that.
Leno is a member of the Writers Guild of America and should have been on strike right beside them according to their rules. The union is putting the late night talk show host on trial. On Wednesday he appeared before the union with his lawyer on charges that he broke the rules, a year after the alleged violations.

Jay Leno is fighting back. He is insisting that he did no wrong. He is the highest profile of writers who are being reviewed by the committee. That committee will rule on what actions should be taken. Penalties could include a reprimand, a fine and finally at the worst case, expulsion from the union.

Leno is being accused of performing “struck work” that would otherwise have been done by a WGA member.

Last January Leno told his audiences that he was doing his old job for himself according to the LA Times.

“I’m doing what I did the day I started,” he told his audience on his first night back on the air. “I write jokes and wake my wife up in the middle of the night and say, ‘Honey, is this funny?’ ”

“We are following the guild thing,” Leno assured his viewers. “We can write for ourselves.”

Leno maintains that as a performer he was exempt for the rules that banned any members from performing work that would have been done by striking writers. As a guild member and a writer credited on the show, Leno was also barred from writing in general.

NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks has said that the network will support Leno in this matter.

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