As the Hollywood strikes rage on into the fall, talkshow hosts are making the most of their break from late-night TV.
For a bit of context, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike back in May, which means that writers for major shows have put their work on hold until the WGA reaches an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which is still yet to happen.
The podcast will see the hosts delve into discussions surrounding the strikes and their talkshows, with all the proceeds going to their respective late-night staffers as the WGA strike enters its fifth month.
In this week’s premiere episode, the fivesome got off to a strong start as they discussed their indefinite break from TV, starting with Jimmy Kimmel, who revealed that two of his most famous friends stepped in to support his staffers amid the strikes.
“Ben Affleck and the despicable Matt Damon contacted me and offered to pay our staff,” he revealed, shouting-out the Hollywood heavyweights and real life BFFs, who also happen to be close friends of Jimmy’s, in spite of his and Matt’s decade-spanning “feud.”
Jimmy said that Matt and Ben reached out with the offer to pay his entire staff for two weeks, each of them personally footing the cost of a week.
“They wanted to pay out of their own pocket, our staff,” he said, prompting Jimmy Fallon to agree that the Oscar-winning pair are very “good people.”
Despite their generosity, Jimmy revealed that he turned them down, admitting that he felt it was “not their responsibility.”
In response, his cohosts jumped in to see if the offer was “transferable,” promoting Stephen Colbert to ask if Jimmy could “say yes and then give your money to us?”
As you may or may not be aware, Ben and Matt are no strangers to using their platforms to support talented artists within the industry.
“As streamers have proliferated, they have really ended back-end participation, and so this is partly an effort to try and recapture some of that value and share it in a way that is more equitable,” Ben explained earlier this year. “Not just writers and directors and stars. But also cinematographers, editors, costume designers and other crucial artists who, in my view, are very underpaid.”
If you’ve watched Jimmy Kimmel Live, you’ll know that Ben and Matt have appeared on the show countless times, often to take part in skits centered around Matt and Jimmy’s longstanding rivalry.
However, Jimmy hinted in the new podcast episode that we might not be seeing him on our screens for that much longer, revealing that he was “very, very serious” about stepping back from the show around the time the strikes began.
“I was very intent on retiring right around the time where the strike started,” he told his cohosts, before admitting that taking a break from his hosting duties gave a him a renewed sense of passion for the job.
“And now, I realize, ‘Oh yeah, it’s kind of nice to work,’” he confessed, adding: “When you are working, you think about not working.”