STRIKE COVERAGE: Writers Guild of America East Disses Ellen
Union Scalds DeGeneres for Not Honoring Strike
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/9/2007 3:01:00 PM
Friday severely upbraided daytime talk-show host
for not honoring the
On Monday, DeGeneres did not report to work, but she was back on the set Tuesday at Warner Bros.’ request. No other syndicated show is being affected by the strike, even CBS’ Dr. Phil, which employs guild writers.
In anticipation of two episodes the show is scheduled to tape in New York Nov. 19 and 20, the guild issued a lengthy statement, some of which is excerpted here.
“The Writers Guild of America East is extremely disappointed to see that Ellen has chosen not to stand with writers during the strike. Ellen's peers who host comedy/variety shows have chosen to support the writers and help them get a fair contract. Ellen has not. On her first show back, Ellen said she loves and supports her writers, but her actions prove otherwise.
“Ellen has also been performing comedy on her show. Even if Ellen is writing those segments herself, since those segments would normally be written by the writers on strike, she's performing ‘struck work.’ Ellen is violating the strike rules that were clearly explained to all of the comedy/variety shows.
“We certainly intend to let Ellen know our dissatisfaction in person if she decides to proceed with the shows she has scheduled in New York Nov. 19 and 20. We will also make our voices heard the preceding week if she tries to pretape comedy segments on location.
“We find it sad that Ellen spent an entire week crying and fighting for a dog that she gave away, yet she couldn't even stand by writers for more than one day -- writers who have helped make her extremely successful.”
”It is unfair and incorrect to compare The Ellen DeGeneres Show to late-night shows such as Leno, Letterman and Conan, all of which are late-night network-owned and controlled programming,” Telepictures Productions said in a statement.
“Ellen is a daytime talk show carried on a syndicated basis across individual television stations, no different than, and in direct competition with, Oprah, Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil, Live with Regis and Kelly, The View, Martha, Tyra, Jerry, Maury and Montel, all of which are in first-run daytime syndication and are continuing in production,” the company added. “Ellen has not done anything in violation of the Writer's Guild of America agreement, or the WGA's internal ‘strike rules.’”
The company continued, “Telepictures Productions, through its distributor, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has contractual obligations to continue to deliver original programming to the 220 stations that carry the program. We have asked Ellen to come back to work to fulfill her contractual obligation as host of the show because without original programs, the stations can move the show out of its time periods or ultimately hold the company in breach of contract. The company, in turn, expects Ellen not to breach her contract to host the show. We also wish to preserve the 135 jobs of the staff and the crew, whose livelihoods depend on the show continuing. We regret that the Writers Guild has chosen to strike and we wish for a quick resolution.”
For a gallery of photos from the picket line, click here.
For full coverage of the strike, click here.
Not all writers make alot of money....there are some that only make a few projects every 2 to 3 years and can use the extra money from dvd sales and new mediea, etc, to put food on their tables. they arent asking for much just a little bit more of the pie. the networks are worth billions and its bs that they cant support their writers who if it werent for them, they wouldnt have all the money they have now. Im in full support of the writers guild. i do hope that this does resolve itself b4 all my favorite shows have to air.....
eric kruzikas - 11/13/2007 1:31:00 PM EST
If Ellen DeGeneres is in direct competition with Oprah, Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil, Live with Regis and Kelly, The View, Martha, Tyra, Jerry, Maury and Montel, all of which are in first run daytime syndication and are continuing in production -- and Ellen's show along with Dr. Phil's are the only syndicated shows that employ writers that are under guild contracts...I wonder why the WGA members are not picketing outside of Oprah, Rachael Ray, Live with Regis and Kelly, The View, Martha, Tyra, Jerry, Maury and Montel - rather than giving Ellen a hard time? These other shows may pay their writers less, which undermines each production company that competes directly with them...why are not these showrunners and writers that are non-union not being made aware for the duration of a week the overall impact they have? Why are they not being intived into the guild? For free? Today? Why is the focus on a woman whose show pays guilded writers, rather than those shows who do not? Are not the WGA members encouraging her to put her show in jeopardy which could indeed cost a number of WGA writers their future jobs, while those other shows will definitely continue with the non-union writers?
Sherry Moore - 11/13/2007 12:04:00 AM EST
Leave Ellen alone! The writer's guild isn't going to have anyone feeling sorry for them, just angry at them for putting America's favorite shows on hold... get over it!!!
lauren shull - 11/12/2007 7:30:00 PM EST
We're behind the Writer's Guild and truly hope they can get back to the table and get a fair settlement. Unfortunately, attacking people like Ellen DeGeneres to get publicity for their case will do nothing but help them loose the sentiment of their supporters. Come on ... are they dissing Oprah or any of the other daytime talk shows? Or is Ellen just an easy target these days. Give me a break!
Pamela Noga - 11/12/2007 8:53:00 AM EST
The Writer's Guild needs to stop acting like a bunch of little babies and get back to work. They make more money than I do...I'm not on strike. Here's a novel concept: try negotiating WHILE you work, you'll probably have better results. Nobody likes giving anything to a bunch of lazy whiners. And if Ellen wants to go back to work and write her own shows, so be it. She probably doesn't need any of these losers anyway. More power to her.
Peter L - 11/11/2007 9:07:00 PM EST
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