Saturday Night Live to face strike from post-production editors over pay

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: "Saturday Night Live" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Pictured: "Saturday Night Live" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

Saturday Night Live might be facing quite an issue, as the post-production editors behind the show are ready to strike. They have set a deadline of April 1 for the producers to come to an agreement with them.

If an agreement is not reached with NBCUniversal, then the 12 to 20 editing crew members have announced that they will be halting their work and disrupting the live show. The threat comes amid fears that their bargaining sessions for pay inequities and health benefits are continuing to stall.

The issues surrounding the Saturday Night Live editing team

The deadline came after the group, which is part of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, voiced their goal to negotiate a contract in October. Several bargaining sessions have taken place between them and the producer, but no deal has been reached with issues surrounding the topic of health benefits.

Aside from health benefits, the union has also been unsuccessful so far in finding a contract guaranteeing the workers fair pay. It should be noted that the Saturday Night Live editing team’s pay fall “far below industry standards” at the moment.

Assistant editors make hourly wages “that represent only a fraction of the industry-standard minimum rate for assistant editors on union shows.” NBCUniversal “has offered annual increases that fall short of annual raises in industry-wide agreements, despite increases to cost of living.”

The editing team has received a great deal of support from others of the same craft, with several wearing the “Contract Now” shirts to work. Several cast members also wore the “Contract Now” shirt at the end of the February 4 show, during the on-camera goodbyes.

Alan Heim, the president of the Motion Picture Editors Guild commented on the strike.

"“Strikes are not funny, and it’s also not funny that NBCU is driving us to take this step to guarantee fair pay and benefits for our members.”"

If the strike takes place, it would be the first in the 50-year history of Saturday Night Live, as the comedy show never had a show-specific strike before. NBC has vowed to address the strike, but it remains to be seen if it’s done effectively.

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Do you watch Saturday Night Live? How do you feel about the strike?

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