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Untangling the Leno Monologue Debacle

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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LATE-NIGHT FIGHTS Jay, Mob, Media

Thursday's Writers Guild of America statement concerning Jay Leno's return to late-night with self-penned monologues was not as clear as it seems: "A discussion took place today between Jay Leno and the Writers Guild to clarify to him that writing for The Tonight Show constitutes a violation of the Guilds' strike rules." This morning, though, speaking to RadarOnline.com, a WGA spokesperson was unable to specify any consequences Leno might face if he continues to write his own material. The spokesperson said only that they'd been talking with Jay and that "hopefully he won't continue writing his own monologues, and it won't be an issue."

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The WGA statement follows a week filled with he said, he said confusion over strike rules. Leno delivered Wednesday night without his writers, saying he had written his own opening monologue and tested his jokes on his wife. According to Deadline Hollywood, NBC says Jay had met with WGA West President Patric Verrone and his writers beforehand and that he'd gotten the green light: "We're going to look the other way," was reportedly Verrone's reply.

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