In ‘Painful Decision,’ WGA East President Rallies Troops to Picket Leno, Kimmel, O’Brien

Today, in a letter to members, Writers Guild of America East President Michael Winship wished everyone a happy new year, admitted that he was recently “momentarily overcome with frustration and annoyance,” and professed to be sustained by “the nationwide unity and the surety that what we are striking for is right not only for us but so many others in the creative community.”

The coming week is a huge one for the striking writers.

This past Friday, the WGA reached a binding agreement with Woldwide Pants which will allow The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to return to the air tomorrow night with their full writing staffs.

But tomorrow night also marks the return of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien–albeit without the shows’ writers, who continue to strike.

“Leno, O’Brien and Kimmel are all members of the Guild and have been and continue to be extremely supportive of our strike and their writing staff,” wrote Mr. Winship. “For that we truly are grateful.”

“Nonetheless, they are coming back without writers and without a new Guild contract, forced back on the air by companies that refuse to sit at the table and bargain with us,” he added. “We cannot let that pass. It’s a difficult and painful decision, but the Guilds East and West have determined that we will picket outside the studios of these programs, beginning January 2.”