In a case of being conspicuous by omission, Jay Leno has been cleared of violating the Writers Guild's rules when he wrote his monologue during the WGA strike that began in November 2007 and ended in February 2008. The WGA sent members a message on Tuesday in which it presented the final decision of the trial committee that heard allegations against members who were accused of violating union rules by writing during the strike. It said that it took action against two members and one non-member. Leno was not among them. Members of the union had filed complaints against Leno for allegedly scabbing during the strike when he returned to the air as host of NBC's Tonight show in January 2008. In February of this year, Leno was brought before the trial committee and questioned about his writing activity during the strike. The decision of the committee not to take action against him is certain to revive the internecine battle within the union between members who believe it knuckled under to producers and those who believe the strike was ill-advised to begin with and was counter-productive. Many are rankled over the probability that Leno's new nightly show, which debuts on September 14, will contribute to the reduction of scripted programming on NBC, putting more writers out of work.

12/08/2009