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WGA: No chin music for Jay Leno

August 11, 2009 |  7:40 pm


Late-night talk show host Jay Leno has one less thing to worry about before he launches into prime-time next month.

The Writers Guild of America, West has cleared Leno of allegations that he ran afoul of the guild's strike rules, a person close to the union said Tuesday night.

The NBC late-night host was a prominent backer of the union during the 100-day work stoppage, championing its cause and handing out donuts to writers walking the picket line. But the comedian created a stir inside the guild when he said on the air that he was penning his own monologues.

In February, Leno was brought before the union's trial committee to address charges he broke the union's prohibition against performing "struck work" during last year's strike. Leno maintained he did nothing wrong, and the guild's West Coast board agreed with him.

Leno was the most prominent among several writers who were investigated by the guild for violating its strike rules. Others weren't so lucky.

In a letter to members, the board said the guild "returned findings of guilt" against three writers: Jon Maas, who was fined for writing a one-hour teleplay; David Hensley, a nonunion member who was barred from membership in the guild for writing scripts for a daytime serial; and an unidentified guild member who was given a reprimand for working on a feature film.

Leno was not mentioned in the statement.

-- Richard Verrier

Photo credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images