Leno Scabbed on Own Show During Writers Strike: Union

Guild could expel late-night host
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2009 12:09 PM CST
Jay Leno greets supporters of the Writers Guild of America and others on the picket line in front of Universal Studios in 2007.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The Writers Guild of America claims Jay Leno broke union rules when he hit the air with his own material during the 2007-08 strike, the Los Angeles Times reports. Leno denies wrongdoing. The accusation against the host, who was publicly supportive of striking writers, was kept mum until he appeared before the union’s trial committee yesterday. Leno could be expelled from the guild.

Leno cites a provision governing “material written by the person who delivers it on the air.” But the WGA says the provision applies only to performers not credited as writers, and that Leno broke rules by performing work usually done by striking writers, and, as a credited writer himself, he should not have been working at all during the strike. (Read more Jay Leno stories.)