Pencils Down, Bitch!
Let’s spend a moment on this Jay Leno fracas that’s going on. Jay was a big supporter at the beginning of the strike. He walked off his show and stopped by the strike lines the first couple of days with some food. Eventually, he paid a bunch of the people on the show. There’s no denying that it was real nice of him.
For some reason, all the late night guys came back this week. I’m not real sure why that is. Letterman, because he owns his own production company Worldwide Pants, was able to negotiate a deal with the WGA. Leno was not.
When he came back, he wrote his own monologue, admitting it in the speech. NBC claimed that the WGA had cleared him for this. The WGA denies it. But they aren’t going to do anything about it, because Leno has been so supportive. Though he is basically scabbing and working (both of which damage the writers’ position), the WGA has rolled over for him. It’s great that Leno was supportive. But when he stops being supportive, shouldn’t the guild stop supporting him? The phrase is “Pencils down!” for a reason.
Update: Nikki Finke posted this afternoon that the WGA will be taking action against Leno and that the wishy-washy position they held yesterday was due to Leno's threats to go "fi-core" ("financial core status" meaning that he will withdraw from WGA membership in order to scab.)
Image by NoHoDamon, via Flickr