Writer Tim Doyle Censored by WGA West for Offensive Facebook Post

Veteran showrunner Tim Doyle has been publicly criticized by the Writers Guild of America West after a guild panel found him guilty of posting a racist image on Facebook last year.

“The Writers Guild of America West (“WGAW”) has filed charges against member Tim Doyle under Article X of the WGAW Constitution and Bylaws (“Constitution”),” guild leaders wrote in a message to members sent Thursday. “The charges allege that on August 9, 2023, Mr. Doyle posted what members perceived to be a racist and offensive image of a lynching to a WGAW members’ Facebook group. Mr. Doyle was accused of conduct prejudicial to the welfare of the Guild and unfair dealing with other members in violation of Article XA, Section 1 of the Constitution.”

The guild’s trial committee found “that Mr. Doyle’s posting on August 9, 2023 constituted conduct detrimental to the welfare of the guild and unfair treatment.” Based on the trial committee’s report, the WGA West Board of Directors determined that “Mr. Doyle’s conduct warrants public censure.”

Doyle could not immediately be reached for comment. The email from WGA West announcing Doyle’s disapproval prompted a range of reactions from writers and others on social media.

Doyle’s post sparked outrage in August 2023, when thousands of TV and film writers had been on strike for more than three months. He apologized in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, saying he was “really sorry” and claiming his “dumb joke” had been misunderstood.

The image at the heart of the case, described as a black-and-white drawing of a man hanging upside down from a tree, evoked a lynching feeling among many readers, who quickly slammed Doyle.

The WGA’s practice of conducting private investigations and disciplinary actions against members has long been controversial among members. After the 2007-2008 strike, then-“Tonight Show” host Jay Leno was questioned in a trial about jokes he made on the radio during the strike, but was eventually acquitted of wrongdoing.

Doyle’s long list of television credits includes the comedies “Rules of Engagement,” “Last Man Standing,” “Dr. Ken,” “Speechless” and “Better Off Ted.” He most recently served as showrunner and creator of “Schooled,” the short-lived spinoff of ABC’s family comedy “The Goldbergs.”

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