Writers Guild and Tyler Perry make peace, sign deal
The Writers Guild of America, West has settled its ugly spat with comedian Tyler Perry, sources close to the matter say.
The guild filed an unfair labor practice complaint last month with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that mini-mogul Perry had unlawfully fired four writers on the TBS cable sitcom "House of Payne" for trying to secure a union contract. Perry's attorney said at the time that the writers were sacked for "the quality of their work."
But sources say Vic Bulluck, head of the Hollywood chapter of the NAACP, has helped to broker a peace between the show-business entrepreneur and the writers union. Under the terms of the pact, Perry's production company agreed to sign a contract with the guild for "House of Payne" as well as another upcoming comedy series. The company will also pay an undisclosed sum to the fired writers, said the sources, who asked not be identified because the settlement was confidential.
The union had been trying for months previously to negotiate a contract covering writers on "House of Payne." But those efforts broke down, according to the guild, when the director/producer/playwright/actor fired the writers after warning them that they could be replaced if they continued to angle for a guild contract. Things got so ugly in October that at one point the guild staged a protest outside Perry's new studio facility in Atlanta -- intended to draw attention as much as to embarrass the staunch supporter of President-elect Barack Obama.
The guild declined to comment on the matter. Perry could not reached.
-- Richard Verrier and Greg Braxton
Photo of Tyler Perry by Kevin Winter/Getty Images