Writers Guild of America East and Writers Guild of America West drafted a pledge to improve diversity, equity Sex and featured on Late Night and Comedy /Variety Shows with more than signatories Supervisory scribe in space.
A diverse group, which includes John Oliver, Amber Ruffin, Amy Schumer, and Charlamagne tha God, acknowledges systemic barriers and a “sink or swim” culture that BIPOC writers have been historically excluded and some specific remedies are outlined to help them get in, stay in the pipeline, and move up.
“Historically, the traditional outlets into late night and comedy TV have been overwhelmingly white, so relying solely on them when making hiring decisions is Not Enough,” the joint statement, also signed by Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, whose gigs or hosting stints recently ended. “We will seek applicants in a more diverse field than traditional colleges, universities and comedy spaces, and we will expand our existing network by seeking recommendations from a wider and more diverse set of writers, networks and lists .”
This commitment was developed through dialogue with Guild members to clarify barriers and propose solutions. Although the document is not a covenant agreement or an official policy containing tracking programs or accountability measures, the WGAE told
The Hollywood Reporter that the commitment does not directly involve any employer or production company, “is a tool the guild can use to monitor the progress of these efforts,” and the union “aims to enforce these standards to the best of its ability.”
THR chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg wrote that late night TV is currently At a crossroads of representation , hosts like Samantha Bee, Desus and Mero (and now Noah) draw from a white male-dominated landscape.
“Our members understand and are committed to the thinking and actions in this important commitment,” WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson said in a statement. “This commitment proves that those in power, as well as at the writer’s level, have embraced the changes needed to ensure the BIPOC voice is a vital part of the influential world of late night and comedy television.”
More than Late Night and Comedy/Variety Staff Writers signed the Leaders Pledge. “The more our room represents the public and connects with communicate with the public, the more likely audiences are to listen to our message again,” their statement read. “We support the Supervising Producer’s signed pledge and firmly believe it will benefit not only our workplace, but the shows we co-create.”
In four major statements Among that commitment is a commitment to overhaul the writing package process that has traditionally been the calling card of aspiring scribes—for example, providing sample formats and allowing supplementary material from writers from non-traditional backgrounds, and establishing “mechanisms” to hold readers accountable for Historically excluded cultural references and perspectives are biased and unfamiliar. The pledge also works to create and maintain working environments where writers from marginalized backgrounds are free, safe and empowered to express themselves without fear of reprisal.
“I have a lot of hope that this commitment can be a meaningful step toward creating a fairer and more inclusive comedy/variety workplace, from Writers of all backgrounds can thrive in a supportive environment,” Josh Gondelman, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, Showtime
Desus & Mero , said in a statement. “I am grateful for the hard work of the many writers who have created an actionable blueprint and committed so many in the industry to actually taking these actions.”