Late-night TV hosts join on podcast to help striking writers

FILE PHOTO: Iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -An all-star lineup of late-night television hosts are uniting to chat about Hollywood's ongoing labor disputes on a new podcast, a group effort to raise funds for their striking staff writers.

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver will take part in the podcast that debuts on Wednesday called "Strike Force Five," according to a statement from streaming service Spotify. All five will appear on each episode and they will take turns as host.

The roughly 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike in early May after failing to reach a new labor agreement with the major Hollywood studios that produce films and TV shows. The SAG-AFTRA actors union, Hollywood's largest union with 160,000 members, walked off the job in July.

Without teams of writers to pen topical jokes, the late-night shows have been airing re-runs for nearly four months.

The five hosts have been meeting weekly over Zoom "to discuss the complexities behind the ongoing Hollywood strikes," Spotify said, and the new podcast will allow fans to "listen in on these once-private chats."

Spotify said "Strike Force Five" will be available on most major podcast platforms and run for at least 12 episodes. Kimmel - in a post on social media platform X, previously known as Twitter - said the podcast would continue "for the remainder of the strike."

All proceeds will go to the writers of the late-night shows, Spotify said.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Sandra Maler)