John Oliver had a lot of news to catch up on on Sunday Last week tonight – five months even.
During the first fifteen minutes of his first show since the end of the Writers Guild of America strike, he raced through the biggest news stories that happened during the 148-day strike.
“I would have liked to discuss all these stories when they originally happened,” he said after summarizing the news. “I so wish I could have told you these jokes back then, but I couldn’t because our writers, the people who wrote these jokes, were forced to go on strike for the past five months for a fair contract. And it was an extremely difficult time, not just for them, but for everyone else who worked on this show and many others who could no longer do their jobs. And to be clear, this strike happened for good reasons. Our sector has seen its work come under serious pressure in recent years. You’ve probably seen stories about writers and actors whose work you may recognize who routinely don’t earn enough to qualify for health insurance or afford basic necessities.”
He continued: “So the Writers Guild went on strike and thankfully won, but it took a lot of sacrifices from a lot of people to get there. And while I’m glad they ultimately got a fair deal and extremely proud of what our union has accomplished, I’m also furious that it took the studios 148 days to reach a deal they had on day one can offer. But hopefully this can encourage others, from auto workers to Starbucks baristas to health care providers, to find power in each other, whether they are in a union or would like to be. And within our specific industry.”
He said he hopes SAG-AFTRA and IATSE are able to “take what the writers have accomplished and leverage it to win fair contracts for themselves as well.”
“Because the truth is that there are a lot of people who have to work very hard to make film and TV, who all deserve a piece of the pie and especially the actors can’t get back to work fast enough,” he added.
More to come…