UPDATED: AFTRA Defends Ellen; Rep Says She “Has Done Nothing” To Violate 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 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.

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 November 19th and 20th. 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. 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.

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