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Corporate-Sponsored Piracy w/ Rich Talarico, Emmy-nominated writer of Key & Peele

Written by on September 24, 2022

NOTE: As of 9/20/2022, the Writers Guild of America West released their board election results. Rich Talarico was not voted to a seat, but he continues efforts toward writer advocacy. He’s partnered with Stephanie Aly (advocate, journalist) to establish the Artistic Fairness Cooperative (AFC) to gather writers and fans to advocate for fair creative compensation. More information can be found here:

The article/interview below are before the election results. Listen to the full interview below.

“This is the worst promotion of all time…you’re not promoting [Key & Peele], because you’re showing all of it in the promotional space.”

With the emergence of highly accessible digital platforms like YouTube, Tiktok, and Instagram, fair creative compensation is becoming a hot topic. Streaming services and social media create a better infrastructure for consumerism and pedestal up-and-coming creators. However, it also creates newfound conflicts for those behind the scenes of our favorite shows. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rich Talarico about unfair writers’ compensation, the responsibilities of unions within the entertainment industry, and a phrase he coined, “corporate-sponsored piracy.” Rich is an American television comedy writer who won a Peabody Award and is a 4x Emmy-nominated writer and producer.

He is best known for his work on Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, working with Keegan-Michael Key (Keanu, MADtv), Jordan Peele (Get Out, Big Mouth), and other talents. He’s running for the west executive board of the Writers Guild of America, one of the nation’s biggest unions for entertainment writers. 

Rich is running on a platform about Viacom’s unfair promotional usage and how it harms TV writers from many shows from its companies: MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime, Comedy Central, TV Land, and Paramount Network.

If you’d like to learn more about Rich Talarico’s journey and Viacom’s treatment of its writers, his platform, or his Guild campaign, you can go to 

If you’d like to contact Rich, you can do so through his website,

Inside the Key & Peele writers room
Key & Peele cast and crew celebrate with wine. Featuring Rich Talarico, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele.

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