Monday, November 12, 2007

Ellen DeGeneres and the Writers Strike

The Writers Guild of America (East) is mad and they are taking the usually likable Ellen DeGeneres to task. In a recent press release, the organization is taking the TV personality head on and in no uncertain terms. The following are excerpts from the press release and some of my thoughts.

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 November 19th and 20th, 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.

It appears that Ellen loves her audience more than her writers. This is a healthy, free market attitude, in a business culture that often disregards such. The customer is boss and Ellen knows who that is.

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.

In other words, Ellen is a scab! Harsh, but that is what expressions such as "struck work" means. A scab is described as a person who crosses the lines of a strike to make income. I call it a person attempting to take care of him or her self and their responsibilites.

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 November 19th and 20th. We will also make our voices heard the preceding week if she tries to pre-tape comedy segments on location.

I'm sure Ellen intends to have the highest rated TV shows during the day, during this strike. Of course, this is usually case any way, but will be all the more so during this strike.

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.

WAAAAAAAAAAAIT a minute. Is the Writers Guild saying that dogs aren't as important as people? This isn't a very Hollywood attitude.

The writers did not cause this strike. The companies' greed caused this strike and it could end tomorrow if they were finally willing to negotiate a fair deal. 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.

Those poor writers. According to the TV Guide, writers seem to do pretty well. The typical childrens' show writer makes over $200,000 a year and the typical day time soap opera writer makes over $3,000 a script (with many writing two or more scripts a week). These writers are considered on the "low end" of the writing profession, writers of hour long weekly shows make over $30,000 per episode.

In the end, I give two thumbs up for Ellen when it comes to the writer's strike. You won't find that kind of endorsement very often in this blog.

I apologize for the subtitles. This was the only video I could find with Ellen's explanation.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU GO ELLEN, keep up the good work, you are proving your a talented lady. Sorry for the strikerrs, buttttt, she is right, your CUSTOMERS come first, if my whole staff quits,(strikes) I would make up the positions with myself, best I could, THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!!!!

8:35 AM  

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