The WGA West closed the final chapter on its late 2007-early 2008 strike Tuesday when it officially notified members of those who would be punished for violating strike rules. Two WGAW members and one non-member were punished for their actions during the strike.
During the guild’s 100-day walkout and after, dozens of reports of alleged violations of strike rules by members were reported to the guild. The most high-profile was that of Tonight Show host Jay Leno, who was investigated by the guild’s trial committee for allegedly writing his own monologues when his show returned to the air on NBC, one of the companies being struck by the union. He was exonerated.
But WGAW member Jon Maas was found guilty of “performing writing services during the strike on a one-hour pilot teleplay in violation of the Guild’s Constitution and 2007 Strike Rules.” The WGAW board assessed a fine equal to 110 percent of the compensation Maas received for that work and suspended his membership until the fine is paid off in full.
Another member, whose name was withheld, was working on a feature project and was found guilty of “refusing to cooperate with the Strike Rules Compliance Committee in connection with an investigation of prohibited writing services alleged to have been performed on the film.” This member was served merely with a reprimand.
David Hensley, a nonmember, was permanently barred from guild membership for “writing and submitting scripts to a struck company for a daytime serial.”
The WGAW constitution provides for a due process hearing before a committee consisting of five rank-and-file members should the board find sufficient evidence in an allegation to warrant recommending the case for further action. The committee also determined the penalties.
Few allegations were actually referred on to the committee, and all but the three members punished were eventually found not guilty of violations.