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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

in case you didn’t already hate Carson Daly…

Breitbart.com offers more reasons why Carson Daly is contemptible:

NEW YORK (AP) – NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly” is about to become the first late- night talk show to defy the writers strike and resume production.

Daly, who is not a member of the Writers Guild, will begin taping new episodes of his Burbank-based show this week for airing next week, an NBC spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

Why does this suck? The WGA explains:

“The Writers Guild of America, East joins our colleagues of the Writers Guild of America, West in expressing our profound disappointment with Carson Daly’s decision to return to work,” the guild said in a statement that also commended other late-night talk show hosts for showing solidarity with their writers. “We thank them and hope that Mr. Daly will reconsider his decision, including the soliciting of scab writers to provide material for his program.”

I didn’t realize that Carson had company:

Ellen DeGeneres, who is a member of the union, has continued taping her daytime syndicated talk show after shutting down the first day of the strike.

Oh, but it’s even worse, according to The Smoking Gun:

NOVEMBER 27–NBC late night host Carson Daly, who today announced that he is returning to the air in the face of the ongoing writers strike, wants his friends and family to help with his scab efforts. In an e-mail, Daly asked a small group of contacts to call in “suggested jokes” to a telephone hotline, noting that he would “play some, most, or all of your jokes on the air.” The bit, Daly stressed, was not meant to “make fun” of his striking writers. He added that his goal was to just “play a fun collage of random people trying to ‘help me out.'” The bit’s set-up, Daly wrote in his Sunday night e-mail [which is available for viewing, including the hotline number, at the link above–maj] was that “the devastating writers strike” led to “A TON of my friends and family…calling me, leaving messages, offering their help with jokes because they know that I don’t have any writers working and hosting a latenight show without them will be nearly impossible for me.”

Yeah. So don’t host the show, Daly. Wanker.

Oh, and lest you think most talk-show hosts aren’t supporting their staffs, industry rag Broadcasting & Cable notes that:

David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants — which produces Late Show, as well as Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson — will pay the staffs of both shows through the end of the year. And the staffs of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O’Brien have been told that they will be paid at least until the end of the month.

I wish I watched Daly’s show so I could boycott it. If Dante was writing today, I’m sure he’d invent a special circle of hell for union scabs.

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  • MBI

    Ellen is not using scabs and should not be blasted for this. Letterman and Carson did the same thing in ’88.

  • MBI

    Actually, I’m reading more about this and I’ll retract that last statement. It’s at least difficult to make a moral judgment about Ellen’s show.

    Fuck Carson Daly though.

  • bitchen frizzy

    Carson Daly isn’t a WGA member, so why should he be obligated to support the WGA strike?

    David Letterman is a WGA member. It’s not a valid comparison.

  • Mark

    Daly’s encouraging non-union writers to write for him, functionally hiring scab labor. By undermining the effectiveness of the strike (not merely “not supporting it”), he’s showing contempt and disregard for the writers he depends upon for his career.

  • J.

    Carson Daly isn’t a WGA member, but I’m pretty sure his *writers* are. And hiring scabs to replace them would be the exact opposite of supporting their efforts.

    He isn’t obligated to support the strike, necessarily, but I’d think he’d show a little more to the writers on whom he depends for his career.

    And since when does Carson Daly have a television show? Honestly, this is the first I’ve heard of it.

  • bitchen frizzy

    It’s unusual for everybody at a company to walk out when members of one union go on strike – hardly ever happens, actually. He’s not in the union, he’s not a writer, he keeps going to work. Maybe not noble, but not exceptionally bad.

    If I understand correctly, he’s not hiring anybody, just soliciting jokes from his viewers as a gimmick to attract some interest to his show. Presumably, the strike will still be effective because the quality and viewership of his show will still suffer from lack of professional writers… won’t it?

    And yes, LOL, his show’s pretty obscure. I don’t watch it either.

  • Moe

    Let me get this straight:

    Carson is not a member of the WGA.
    But his strinking writers are.
    To show his appreciation for their hard work and effort to the show baring his name, he’s gonna slap them in the face by getting ordinary and scab union writers to write crummy jokes for him.

    So he’s putting himself and the ratings his network gets ahead of his writers.

    Apparently, he values his crew, and other non-WGA staff members who are feeling hurt more than his writers too.

    Doesn’t he know that this is the plan of the strike?
    To make networks and studios feel the pain for abusing their writers?

    Is he really that much of a douchebag?

  • I kinda like Ellen. I’ll reserve judgement until it’s a bit more clear whether or not she’s screwing over her writers.

    But Daly is lame. Of course, I never watch his show anyways.

  • Tom S.

    My question is this: Would the members of the other trades on Daly’s set cross the writer’s picket line to work his show? Unions generally honor other union’s strikes.

  • Signal30

    Seems to me that both Daly and DeGeneres are using the strike to promote their own pursuits… in that while other hosts are taking a time out, they’re using the void to try to gain more viewers.

    Daly I can understand because he’s just a talking prop. But if DeGeneres is a member of the WGA, she should try some solidarity. Essentially, she’s writing her own show now, right? Which is crossing the line, both literally and figuratively.

  • I’m not sure I understand all of this. I would’ve thought he’d have to be a union member, since one assumes he does some writing on the show. Maybe not- maybe he doesn’t do anything but talk. So if he’s not a member, would it be acceptable for him to put a show on if he wrote it all himself? Not that many people could keep that up for long, but it seems like that would be different. But then he starts getting friends to help, and that’s going too far? Don’t get me wrong, I think that he should be supporting his writers and not trying to circumvent their efforts, but I’m wondering where the line is.

    Also, wouldn’t it be great if some of these talk shows came back on and spent the whole time talking about the strike? That wouldn’t require writers, and it would be supportive. The public needs to be educated about exactly what this strike is about. They could invite corporate spokesmen on as guests and have a debate on the air (if any took them up) and try to convince people to support the writers and complain to the TV companies. I heard one of the Late Night writers talking about the strike, and until then, I didn’t really understand it. He was saying how most people thought “residuals” meant bonuses, and how they assumed Hollywood writers were all rich and just trying to get bigger mansions. He then explained how residuals is what writers live on between jobs, and without them they’d never be able to support themselves long enough to pursue a writing career. Public support is a great tool, because viewers, if they care, will remember which companies wanted to work with the writers and which ones wanted to screw them over. Question: Could, for instance, CBS come to a deal with the striking union and agree to their demands, and then writers agree to come back to work at CBS and no other network, or would it have to all happen at once? Because you know if that happened, the other networks would scramble for a deal ASAP.

    One other thing: in addition to Letterman, Leno, and O’Brien, Jon Stewart paid all his writers for two full weeks of the strike out of his own pocket. He doesn’t have the same financial resources as the others, but he did it himself anyway.

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