SNL Workers Are Going On Strike, Is The Show Nearing Its Death?

SNL’s post-production editors are in a contract dispute that could mean the show coming to a stop if not resolved by April 1st.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

saturday night live

Workforce grievances come in many different shapes and sizes, and show business is no exception. A recent Variety article tells us how SNLs post-production editors are fighting for better pay and health benefits or they’ll go on strike. Sure, the hosts, cast, and writers of Saturday Night Live seem to be in a good spot, but we must remember that a rising tide lifts all boats, and a boycott will do nothing but sink the show if the post-production crew’s demands aren’t considered.

The SNL strike is said to be imminent if certain bargaining conditions are not met, and this is bad news for the sketch comedy show. If an agreement cannot be met by April 1, 2023, then the post-production editors will halt work, causing production to be at a standstill.

For those of you who are old enough to remember, you may recall the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike that affected the show running of Late Night With Conan O’Brien, Real Time with Bill Maher, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Saturday Night Live, and several other shows which were either halted in production or forced to air reruns. Luckily, an agreement was made on February 12, 2008 with a 93.6 percent approval rating from the guild, and many shows were able to pick up where they left off.

It truly takes a village to keep a show running, and it’s important that the post-production crews feel like they’re getting their fair share. In the meantime, SNL’s 48th season could come to an early end if the strike comes to fruition. And can we really blame the post-production crew for wanting to be paid according to the industry standards, and maintain their health benefits and collective bargaining rights?

One complication that we need to consider is that SNL’s season 48 run is coming to an end in May, and NBCU has been pushing back on the guild despite their proposals being quite reasonable. So even if the SNL post-production crew does end up pushing back with a strike, it’s easy to see how NBCU may feel like they currently have the upper hand, considering that the show is close to wrapping up for the year anyway.

Luckily for the SNL post-production staff, they are not without support. Other SNL employees have been seen wearing specially made “Contract Now” shirts on the set in solidarity with their crew, hoping to prevent the strike from becoming a reality. This makes sense because a weekly live show has many moving parts, and the post-production staff is responsible for making sure the show looks good for viewers at home. In other words, writers, cast, and production crews are extremely important, but it’s the post-production crew that makes a lot of magic happen behind the scenes to make sure things are running smoothly.

Let’s all hope that the Motion Picture Editors Guild and NBCU can come to an agreement before deciding to go on strike on April 1. For many, SNL is a weekly household staple, and if the crew does in fact go on strike, then we’re going to have to get our Weekend Update in the form of reruns. And trust us when we say “prerecorded from New York, it’s another rerun” doesn’t really really roll of the tongue.