John Oliver, David Simon & 70-Plus Other HBO Writers Call On Vice To Sign New Union Contract

Vice Media

UPDATED with Vice statement: More than 75 current and former writers for HBO have signed a petition calling on Vice Media “to sign a strong union contract” with the WGA. The list includes several high-profile scribes including John Oliver, David Simon, Warren Leight, Tom Fontana, Eric Overmyer and Jesse Armstrong.

Read the petition and its signatories below.

Editorial staffers at Vice overwhelmingly ratified their first contract with WGA East in April 2016, a three-year deal that was retroactive to January 1 that year.

WGA East
WGA East

“This petition shows what WGA East solidarity looks like,” the guild said in a statement. “Just as our members who craft shows for HBO are expressing support for their brothers and sisters at Vice, the WGAE-represented employees in all parts of Vice (Viceland, HBO news and documentaries, the verticals) are supporting each other in the quest for a good contract. That solidarity has already brought real gains in a number of areas such as strong provisions on diversity and workplace culture, and we continue to move forward to win portable health benefits for freelance employees, fair, equitable and transparent pay provisions, and ways for members to remain engaged in workplace decision-making once the collective bargaining agreement has been negotiated.”

In a response statement today, a Vice spokesperson said: “We have been supportive of Vice union efforts from the very beginning, and have continued to negotiate in good faith. We are confident that we will reach an agreement in the near future.”

HBO and Vice have a long history, dating to their 2012 deal to develop the newsmagazine Vice, whose sixth season began in April, to the 2016 launch of the half-hour nightly newscast Vice News Tonight, the premium channel’s first daily program.

Vice video staffers unionized with the WGA East and Motion Picture Editors Guild back in September 2017, less than a week after their deal was announced.

Here is the new petition and the list of HBO writers who signed it:

We are members of the Writers Guild who work, or have worked, for HBO crafting stories and producing content for film and television projects. Right now the Writers Guild is negotiating a collective bargaining agreement that would cover writers, producers, and many others who work for Vice Media – a company that has a direct and long-standing relationship with HBO.

Vice Media’s commitment to innovation has made it a major industry player. There is no better way to cultivate that innovation than to sign a strong union contract.

We, therefore, call upon Vice Media to settle a fair contract with the Writers Guild and Vice Union Bargaining Teams.

As Writers Guild members, we have protections under a collective bargaining agreement. Our fellow union members at Vice Media deserve no less.

Megan Abbott, The Deuce
Jesse Armstrong, Veep; Succession
Kevin Avery, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Katja Blichfield, High Maintenance
Molly Boylan, Sesame Street
Mitchell Burgess, The Sopranos
Jess Carlton, Sesame Street
Emma Carmichael, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas
Tim Carvell, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Cristine Chambers, Boardwalk Empire
Geri Cole, Sesame Street
Eliza Cossio, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas
Raquel D’Apice, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Stephani DeLuca, The Deuce
Mariama Diallo, Random Acts of Flyness
Riccardo DiLorento, Boardwalk Empire; Vinyl
Bathsheba Doran, Boardwalk Empire, Demimonde
Chris Duffy, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas
Anya Epstein, In Treatment; The Deuce
Joe Fallon, Sesame Street
Chrissy Ferraro, Sesame Street
Tom Fontana, Oz
Marina Franklin, Divorce
Gina Gionfriddo, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Goluboff, In Treatment
Josh Gondelman, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Dan Gurewitch, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Geoff Haggerty, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Hallie Haglund, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas
Amy Harris, Sex and the City; The Comeback
Wes Jones, Demimonde
Mitra Jouhari, High Maintenance
Shaka King, Random Acts of Flyness
Lawrence Konner; The Sopranos; Boardwalk Empire
Howard Korder, Boardwalk Empire
Raye Lankford, Sesame Street
Warren Leight, In Treatment
Brett C. Leonard, Hung
Sam Levinson, Wizard of Lies; Euphoria
Sean M. Love, Veep
Lisa Lutz, The Deuce
Eduardo Machado, Hung
Jim Manos, The Sopranos
Jeffrey Mauer, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Darius Clark Monroe, Random Acts of Flyness
Itamar Moses, Boardwalk Empire
Terence Nance, Random Acts of Flyness
Dan O’Brien, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Isaac Oliver, High Maintenance
John Oliver, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Eric Overmyer, The Wire; Boardwalk Empire; Treme
Ann Packer, Demimonde
Brian Parise, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
George Pelecanos, The Wire; Treme; The Deuce
Naima Ramos-Chapman, Random Acts of Flyness
Adam Resnick, The Larry Sanders Show; Divorce
Amy Rice, The News Room
Julie Rottenberg, Sex and the City; Divorce
Ken Scarborough, Sesame Street
Zack Schamberg, High Maintenance
Johnny Scott III, Demimonde
Chrissy Shackelford, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas\
Scott Sherman, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Ben Silva, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
David Simon, The Wire; Treme; The Deuce
Ben Sinclair, High Maintenance
Dillon Stevenson, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas
Gary Sunshine, Hung
Will Tracy, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Jill Twiss, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Seena Vali, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Belinda Ward, Sesame Street
Jamund Washington, Random Acts of Flyness
Bradford Winters, Oz
Christopher Yakaitis, The Deuce
Rafael Yglesias, Demimonde
Stu Zicherman, Divorce
Elisa Zuritsky, Sex and the City; Divorce

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