The WGA East has signed Kal Penn Approves This Message to a guild contract after reports that the politically themed comedy-variety series “was being produced non-union,” the guild said. Writers working on the series will now be covered under the WGA’s minimum basic agreement. The show originally billed itself as an “unscripted comedy series that explores issues relevant to Millennial and Gen Z voters.”
WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson praised Penn, the series’ creator, executive producer and host, for having “stepped up to show himself as a staunch ally to trade unions.” The guild said that it worked with Penn, Industry Entertainment, WGA members and Embassy Row, the show’s production company, to get the deal done. “We are happy that they quickly resolved the issue,” said a spokesman for the WGA East.
The six-episode series will premiere on Freeform, the Disney-owned basic cable channel, on Sept. 22 – National Voter Registration Day – and will conclude with a one-hour season finale on Oct. 27, a week before the upcoming election.
Penn, of Harold & Kumar fame, left show business for over a year to serve as associate director of President Barack Obama’s White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs before returning to his acting career. In 2012, he was a co-chair of Obama’s reelection campaign, and in 2013 was appointed by Obama to serve on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.