Amber Ruffin Calls Out Streaming Providers For Not Sharing Stats So They Can Pay Writers Less

Comedian Amber Ruffin is still thriving despite the ongoing writer’s strike plaguing Hollywood. A writer and on-air talent herself, Ruffin knows firsthand how streaming giants are getting away with not properly compensating the writers for creating their best-performing content.

Ruffin saw a boost in her career in 2020, when Seth Meyers decided to open each episode of his late-night show with her unscripted take on life as a Black woman, as noted by The Daily Beast. That opportunity soon led to Ruffin, who became the first Black woman writer in late-night television back in 2015, hosting her own late-night talk show, The Amber Ruffin Show.

While the show is still in production amid the writer’s strike and cancellation of other Black-led talk shows, including like HBO’s Pause with Sam Jay and Showtime’s Ziwe, Ruffin’s show has been reduced to occasional one-off specials and is no longer a weekly series.

“I think it says we’re in America. Hi, welcome to America,” Ruffin shared on “The Last Laugh” podcast in response to her Peacock show’s subtle erase from the platform.

But the star is still doing well in an industry where the odds were once stacked against her as a Black female comedian. She has a new podcast, from iHeartMedia and Will Ferrell’s Big Money Players Network, called “The Amber & Lacey, Lacey & Amber Show,” which she hosts alongside her sister Lacey Lamar. Ruffin is also fresh off receiving her first Tony nomination for writing the book for the new musical version of Some Like It Hot.

When it comes to her work as a writer, Ruffin fully supports the writer’s strike and believes it will be “a long strike” until streaming giants agree to properly compensate the writers behind the content that generates so much money.

The pay will come when writers are aware of how many people are streaming their content. The big issue is, the streaming providers aren’t sharing the stats.

“They know exactly how many people are watching it, but they will never tell you,” Ruffin said.

“You used to be able to make a living off of writing a TV show, and you can’t anymore. It doesn’t have to be like this.”

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