As the WGA strike extends into its fourth month, “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown is among the daytime talk show hosts who are in the clear to resume production for his syndicated show “Karamo” amid the ongoing labor dispute.
“A lot of people have asked me, ‘why is your talk show [still filming]?’ It’s because we don’t work with celebrities, and I don’t have any writers on my show,” Brown told TheWrap. “Shows like mine are not part of that union because, again, no celebrities, no writers and it’s just me — [and] whatever comes up off the top of my head — and so we’re able to continue on.”
Brown’s daytime talker does not violate strike rules as it does not employ WGA staffers, while shows like “The Drew Barrymore Show” and “Real Time With Bill Maher” are considered “struck shows” by the Writers’ Guild of America — which explains the backlash as they pick up filming for the fall season without their writing staff. Other daytime shows that don’t employ WGA members include “Sherri,” “Tamron Hall” and “Live With Kelly and Ryan.”
Brown’s show brings on everyday people as guests. Though striking SAG-AFTRA members can still go on talk shows, as long as they do not discuss any past, present or future projects associated with struck studios.
As “Karamo” picks back up for the launch of its sophomore season, Brown says he’s “still over here striking [and] supporting.”
“It just blows my mind that in 2023 and beyond we’re still talking about conversations of equity and equality, where we see somebody getting paid enormously and somebody else can’t even afford certain things,” Brown said of the issues playing a major role in negotiations. “There were times when I couldn’t even figure out how to get my children lunch and pay for my gas, and that should never be the case.”
The daytime host described the “weird” experience of heading back into the studio to film “Karamo” as a majority of his striking peers are fully out of work.
“I’m glad that I’m able to have this position where — because there’s no writers, and I’m the person who comes up with it, and we help real people — that I’m able to work, but I’m also right there in solidarity with everyone else,” Brown said.
“Karamo” premieres Monday, Sept. 18.