On Monday (1 May), the union representing Hollywood writers voted “unanimously” to strike for the first time in 15 years, with the strike coming in at 12.01am on Tuesday (2 May).
Late night shows were among the first to be affected, with shows hosted by Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert all going dark until a deal is reached.
The Tonight Show host Fallon showed support for the striking writers at the Met Gala on Monday night, telling Variety: “I wouldn’t have a show if it wasn’t for my writers, I support them all the way.
“They’ve got to have a fair contract and they’ve got a lot of stuff to iron out and hopefully, they get it done.”
However, the clip prompted criticism from Sarah Kobos, a senior photo research co-ordinator on The Tonight Show.
“He wasn’t even at the meeting this morning to tell us we won’t get paid after this week,” Kobos tweeted. “@jimmyfallon please support your staff AND crew. Had fun bowling with ya last week, but a fun party won’t pay my rent.”
In a follow up tweet, she claimed: “At a meeting Jimmy wasn’t even at, we are told NBC decided to stop paying us after this week and end our health insurance after this month if the strike is ongoing. They won’t even tell us if we will technically be furloughed. Just active employees who aren’t paid.”
He wasn’t even at the meeting this morning to tell us we won’t get paid after this week. @jimmyfallon please support your staff. Had fun bowling with ya last week, but a fun party won’t pay my rent https://t.co/hbOqiXxdFb
— Sarah Kobos (@skobos) May 2, 2023
Kobos, who is not a member of the WGA and therefore isn’t striking, later shared photos of herself at the picket line.
A source told The New York Post that Fallon would not normally be present in these meetings.
The Independent has contacted representatives for Fallon and NBC for comment.
Ken Jeong, Jennifer Lopez and Elle Fanning were all due to be guests on The Tonight Show this week.
As writers took to the picket lines in Los Angeles and New York on Tuesday, they were joined by Hollywood stars including Rob Lowe and Natasha Lyonne.