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Writers Guild of America, East, shows Ellen no puppy love

November 9, 2007 | 10:29 pm

Wga

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), issued this statement today:

"Ellen DeGeneres went back on the air this week after honoring only one day of the writers strike. In anticipation of her plans to tape shows in New York City on Nov. 19 and 20, 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 on Nov. 19 and 20. We will also make our voices heard the preceding week if she tries to pre-tape 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.

"Every show and film set has a production staff and crew that is beloved by their writers. Ellen's staff is no more important than the rest of the industry. When shows refuse to stand with us they create huge revenue streams for the companies, and that prolongs the strike for the thousands of staff and crew members who are noble enough to honor our picket lines. We find this situation hurtful to those people and extremely unfortunate.

"The writers did not cause this strike....We ask Ellen to cease doing shows immediately. She should stand by all writers and help us bring this strike to a quick conclusion. We owe that to the thousands of people who are caught in the middle.

"If you agree that Ellen should stand with the writers on strike, please contact her and tell her so at: http://ellen.warnerbros.com/show/dearellen/. Or contact the show's production office at (818) 260-5600."


Comments () | Archives (42)
MorbidlyAmused

Good for Ellen. I'm glad to see her acting in what she sees as a responsible manner by recognizing that many of the crew members who "stand with" the writers are not choosing to do so, but are forced. While I don't suppose other shows, who act in what they see as a responsible manner by refusing to film, are incorrect in their actions ... well, let's just say Ellen's responsibility has its merits, too. The snark about the dog seems fairly juvenile, though. Not that I claim maturity, mind you.

ShelbyChirstine

Finally, the TRUE colors if the phony are rising to the top.

She needs to start acting like an ADULT at least in part where her actions as a host of a major talk and variety show. Her actions surrounding the dog controversy, which caused a women to receive death threats and loss of business revenue, might have been a sophmorish mistake BUT you would think she would now better now.

Now, her actions, crossing the picket line, writing her own stuff, while her writers are out of work and she pronounce support for them, shows that she wants to have her cake and it it too. This fact also illustrate an INTENTIONAL disrespect for the writers. IT'S WHAT SHE DOES NOT WHAT SHE SAYS WHICH IS THE PROOF IN THE PUDDING.

heykitty72

Although I am a firm believer in the saying "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything", I don't agree or disagree with Ellen on this issue. Aren't we allowed to support whatever causes we see fit? Why do people feel the need to bash others that disagree with them? Aren't we allowed to have our own opinions in this country any longer?

TheRage

This article is rediculous. There are thousands of others to be looking out for aside from the writers. Her actions are hardly as heartless as you attempt to claim. I completely agree the shotty comments about the dog situation are beyond low and uncalled for. Get a grip, she's respecting everyone else that works there and her viewers.

A.O.

To W.G.A. : Bashing ELLEN just indicates how far your union will go to have control of the humanities and IGGY . Your union choose to strike , now live with it . Suck it up and stop crying .

Tony V

When in the culture dd dogs deserve that kind of revered respect that comments here expressed consider the writers observational statement 'low"? It really is a sad commentary that this woman values a dog more than her writers uniion action. If commenting on the dog was a sophmore mistake then scabbing for the network is maybe a summer school mistake. Is worrying about sweatshop child labor in china less than a dog's value too? That is another US trade Union issue. Unions are good. More important than a single dog.

Aaron

Yes Ellen has a right to stand up for what she believes in, and this just proves that she does not care for the people who make her show what it is. This is something that goes beyond strikes and picket lines.

Dog Eat Dog

How ironic this world we live in is...Does the WGA ever stand up and support other unions (i.e., teachers unions, grocery workers, union, UFW, custodians...etc...), departments, civil groups, etc...when they go on strike for unjust practices, treatment, and faulty salaries and benefits? I didn't think so! Indifference is our response to "the industry:" We don't care either! I personally don't care or watch any new sitcoms or shows...I prefer TV shows from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. Today's T.V. shows/programs are dry and boring.

Dog Eat Dog

How ironic this world we live in is...Does the WGA ever stand up and support other unions (i.e., teachers unions, grocery workers, union, UFW, custodians...etc...), departments, civil groups, etc...when they go on strike for unjust practices, treatment, and faulty salaries and benefits? I didn't think so! Indifference is our response to "the industry:" We don't care either! I personally don't care or watch any new sitcoms or shows...I prefer TV shows from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. Today's T.V. shows/programs are dry and boring.

Dog Eat Dog

How ironic this world we live in is...Does the WGA ever stand up and support other unions (i.e., teachers unions, grocery workers, union, UFW, custodians...etc...), departments, civil groups, etc...when they go on strike for unjust practices, treatment, and faulty salaries and benefits? I didn't think so! Indifference is our response to "the industry:" We don't care either! I personally don't care or watch any new sitcoms or shows...I prefer TV shows from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. Today's T.V. shows/programs are dry and boring.

Francois Villon

I applaud Ms DeGeneres. She is brighter, more talented, and more principled than the Writers Guild of America (East and West put together). I am pleased she is moving forward with her show. The strike will simply thin the ranks of writers, a necessary change and prelude to the new global net-based entertainment world that none of the so-called "creative" members of the Guild appear to even understand. I see no reason Ms DeGeneres should personally suffer for mistakes made by others.

dbsocal

People book tickets for the Ellen show months in advance. She also has a commitment to them...even if the tickets are free. People have booked trips around this show...I experienced an Ellen cancellation during the dog incident and her crew was very polite and accomodated us for an upcoming VERY good show. I've worked for unions and they're essentially mobs bullying people to fit their mold and in some circumstances they're counterproductive for their members. Now for their issues others are losing their jobs or at the very least income. Who is helping those people?

I do support the writers cause...but low blows to Ellen or whoever else is not needed.

Francis Smith

Are Ellen's actions worse than the electrical and teamster unions (or whatever unions help in making TV shows) who are still making TV with the scripts that have already been written? What about the DGA members that are still directing those scripts that were all ready to use? Are those union members crossing the picket line?

To suggest that Ellen, who can be a one woman show, somehow stop her creative use of words just to support a strike that she would otherwise support seems churlish. If she were in WGA it would be a problem. Ellen can be a one woman show--good for her!

Lyn

Ellen is a silly woman. Personally, I wish she were back in the closet.
The sad part is, she takes hersefl seriously.

Gina

Apparently those of you supporting Ellen have never been on strike. Being a Los Angeles teacher, I know of which I speak. When you go on strike, your entire world is turned upside-down. You lose your income AND your health benefits. You also have no guarantee that you will have a job after all is said and done. Striking is a serious business that is not entered into lightly, and those who do not stand with you are truly against you.

Eric

I have heard horror stories about how Ellen treats her staff.. I brushed them off because I figured she was just a control freak / perfectionist, which is par for the course, in this industry.

Obviously, I am having troubles now.. it seems that Ellen's true colours are starting to show.. maybe Anne Heche had enough of that too..

Beth

Well, thank you to Ellen for realizing her staff has to pay the mortgage. They dont get stike pay, or anything if the production shuts down. It won't hurt the networks, it will hurt those that can survive it least, the middle class and the working families. Thanks to Ellen for putting them first

Movie fan

Dog Eat Dog, your comment is spot on!!
I totally agree.
Get rid of them, they are just selfish, two faced, ignorant people

Elizabeth

It seems that those who think that Ellen isn't doing anything wrong don't really understand why the writers are striking. Here is a very short video that explains it in a calm way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ55Ir2jCxk

Herman Mitchell

Apparently Ellen has either forgotten what it's like to be a struggling writer, working from paycheck to paycheck. Or either she doesn't give a damn. I'm speaking as a writer who is not even in the writer's union. Anyone, whether they be a writer, teacher, truck driver, or whatever, should be fairly compensated for their work. Which with all the new outlets that are now available, this has not been happening for the writers. Remember that all shows have to be written. And with that in mind, the next time Ellen is asked to host the "Oscar's", or any other show. I pray the writer's will refuse to work on those shows. "Boycott Ellen".

Richard Shanks

Actually I think the writers this year are doing a pretty damn good job at writing some really good shows.
Boston Legal, Gray's Anatomy, Private Practice, Weeds, and a few others.

But Ellen can and should write her own material if she wants to and perform it as well without the writers screaming betrayal at her.

salmdesign

The WGAE's letter including the diatribe about her dog episode was appalling and feckless. Ellen’s show is an independent, syndicated talk show. Ellen was faced with ceasing production indefinitely, incurring a lawsuit from Warner Brothers, furloughing over a hundred workers in her production company (most of whom are not covered by any theatrical union), potentially losing her sponsors not to mention loosing the show’s time slots in dozens of markets whenever the WGA strike is finished.

Ellen has always tried to run a good, clean show. To accuse Ellen of malicious intent by continuing to produce her show was damaging to the WGA’s position and acceptance of AFTRA and SAG no-strike provisions in their respective contracts. Get over yourselves, NEW YORK.

the sad truth

Writers are already far overpaid & really ought to stop whining & thinking that they are not easily replaced!

Erin

I'm disappointed in Ellen's decision and also, how stupid is it to say you support the writers and then totally scab? She's a lame hypocrite.

Erin

Also, to the people saying that Ellen supporting the writers would be shirking the studio audience, I'm sorry but how lame are you that you can't find something better to do in NYC than go to an Ellen taping?

EPIC FAIL.

 
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