– Bill Maher’s “Real Time” faces the possibility of a writers’ strike
– The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) is preparing for a strike authorization vote
– In response, HBO Max shared an official statement supporting the writers
Popular late-night talk show “Real Time with Bill Maher” is under threat of experiencing a writers’ strike, as the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) is getting ready for a strike authorization vote. The main issue stems from the writers’ demands for a contract that guarantees fair wages, overtime, healthcare, and retirement benefits.
According to an email sent by WGAE’s Council and Executive Director Lowell Peterson to the union’s members, the guild says it is ready to rectify the situation. “Unless HBO agrees to a fair contract offer that gives these comedy professionals the workplace justice they seek, your union will have no choice but to advise them to strike,” says the email.
To prevent a potential strike from happening, Peterson wants the Guild to approve a strike authorization vote. This means that should negotiations with HBO fail, the guild could legally call a strike.
As a response, HBO Max issued an official statement showing support for the “Real Time” writers. “HBO respects the union and the writers’ need to negotiate terms that are right for their members, but we hope this can be resolved without engaging in a work stoppage. We look forward to continuing our relationship with WGAE and to years of future episodes of ‘Real Time’”, says the statement.
If the strike ensues, it could adversely affect the late-night talk show’s content production, which is especially significant because the mid-season finale was recently aired on October 8th, and the show is scheduled to return in January 2022.