Unfunny talk-show host Jay Leno scabbed on the WGA writers strike of 2007-8.
Though the Tonight Show was not allowed to use writers during the ongoing strike, WGA member Jay Leno told monologue jokes he claims to have written himself.
But the Writers Guild, like many of us, wasn't laughing. According to NYmag'sVulture buddy Nikki Finke, Leno says he was given permission to write his own material by Guild president Patric Verrone during secret talks, but Verrone says this isn't the case.
WGA rules on the strike clearly stated:
NOTICE TO ALL WGA MEMBERS WRITING FOR COMEDY/VARIETY SHOWS
The Council of the Writers Guild of America, East, Inc. and the Board of Directors of Writers Guild of America, West, Inc. (collectively the “Guild”), have adopted Strike Rules which will go into effect if the Guild calls a strike. The Strike Rules, among other provisions, prohibit Guild members from performing any writing services during a strike for any and all struck companies. This prohibition includes all writing by any Guild member that would be performed on-air by that member (including monologues, characters, and featured appearances) if any portion of that written material is customarily written by striking writers.
Multi-millionaire Leno's scabbing came after previously claiming to support the writers, and even generously distributing some doughnuts on a picket line.