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Joan Rivers Refuses To Suffer Through CNN Interview, Comedienne Storms Out

By | Saturday July 5, 2014 @ 12:01pm PDT

Joan Rivers Refuses To Suffer Through CNN Interview, Comedienne Storms OutSome comics can dish it, but can’t take it and for Joan Rivers, red carpet’s watchdog on E’s Fashion Police, well, there’s apparently a line that can’t be crossed.  The pungent comedienne took absolute offense to CNN‘s Fredricka Whitfield‘s questioning in a taped interview today after the anchor called Rivers’ fashion criticism “mean”.  Rivers retorted, “These ladies make $28 million a picture. You think Nicki Minaj cares if I don’t like her dress? It’s not about them, it’s clothing.”  When Whitfield’s conversation turned to the comedienne wearing fur on the cover of her book Diary of a Mad Diva and the possibility that it might offend animal rights activists, that’s when Rivers lost it. “You’re not the person to interview someone who does humor,” shouted Rivers.  For Rivers, there’s no subject that’s too taboo to knock, and she’s been rather loose-lipped in public lately.  Shortly after officiating a gay wedding Monday at her book signing, Rivers called President Obama gay and Michelle Obama a transgender in a short interview with a street reporter. Last week, Rivers claimed that Kristen Stewart was threatening to sue her over jokes in Mad Diva that the Twilight actress built her career through her affairs with directors.  Rivers sent a message to Stewart via TMZ: “Be glad you’re not a Kardashian, because they’re mentioned a lot more in the book.”  Last November, Rivers offended striking WGAE scribes on Fashion Police calling them “schmuck writers” before issuing a statement in support of them. The CNN Rivers … Read More »

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Joan Rivers Fires Back At “Hurtful” Guild Slam Over ‘Fashion Police’ Strike

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 8:34am PST

She may have called striking Fashion Police scribes “schmuck writers” and “idiots”, and was slammed earlier this week by the WGA East, but a “stunned” Joan Rivers today says she is “supportive of the striking writers” (read the full statement below). The comedian also says she “just learned that E! and the WGA are having an election” on the over 6-month labor action and hopes the FP writers will soon be covered by a WGA contract. Here’s her statement:

I am stunned by the WGAE’s recent personal attacks and allegations that I breached the Settlement Agreement in connection with the WGAE Charges. I am supportive of the striking writers. I am hopeful that the writers will soon be covered by a WGA Contract as I have just learned that E! and the WGA are having an election in early December. As a long standing member of the WGAE, I am greatly confused and disturbed by Mr. Winship’s unprofessional and hurtful statements about my character – It is time for the focus to be on getting the writers a contract, not using me as a scapegoat.

According to Ms. Rivers’ counsel at the law firm of Loeb & Loeb, “Joan Rivers has fully complied with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The statements that Mr. Winship attributes to Ms. Rivers do not violate the Settlement Agreement.”

The seemingly about-face remarks come a day after WGAE president Michael Winship called her out for “reprehensible” comments about the FP writers in an online interview last week. “We are exploring all options,” Winship added Thursday about possible repercussions. Read More »

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WGA East Slams Joan Rivers Over “Reprehensible” Remarks About ‘Fashion Police’ Writers

By | Thursday November 21, 2013 @ 8:47am PST

Calling striking Fashion Police scribes “schmuck writers” and “idiots”, Joan Rivers is back in hot water with the Writers Guild of America East. “Her latest statement egregiously violates the spirit of the rest of the settlement,” said Michael Winship, President of the WGA East today (see his full statement below). “We are exploring all options.” Rivers made the comments in an interview last week with comedy site, Splitsider. In contrast to her pro-guild stance of just over a month ago after the comedian and long time Guild member avoided an October 14 disciplinary hearing in NYC to determine whether the E! host had violated the union’s rules by writing and performing showrunner duties for the show during the strike, Rivers now appears to have changed sides. “E! is right. They wanted writers to take a vote before they went out and decided to strike and the WGA wanted them to negotiate to not take a vote,” she said in the online interview.

Fashion Police writers have been on strike since April seeking more than $1 million in back wages and overtime. They are backed by the WGA in their fight. After risking being possibly being kicked out of the WGA East, Rivers’ took a very different tone on the writers’ situation last month. “As part of the resolution of the Charges, Ms. Rivers has agreed not to write during the strike and to meet with E! … Read More »

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WGAW Expels ‘Fashion Police’ Scribe For Writing During Strike

By | Monday October 14, 2013 @ 10:44am PDT

Joan Rivers escaped the Writers Guild of America’s wrath but Fashion Police scribe Larry Amoros has not. After a September 30 hearing, the WGAW board voted on October 11 to expel the guild member for writing for the E! Network’s series during a Guild-sanctioned strike. Amoros has also been hit with a fine of $14,000.00. (UPDATE: Amoros says that he wasn’t actually expelled because the long non-active union member resigned from the WGAW on September 21. Amoros claims the WGAW went after him when he refused to participate in a “witch hunt” against Rivers and others on the E! show.“The purpose is transparent — throw the striking writers, who have been out of work for more than six months, a bone,” Amoros added in a statement Monday. In response, the WGAW says “the disciplinary action was based on conduct he committed before he decided to resign.”) This is the first time the WGAW has expelled a member in recent years. Back in April, writers for the Joan Rivers-hosted panel series walked off the job to protest E!’s unfair labor practices and to gain a WGA contract. WGAW sanctioned the strike and all members were notified that they were prohibited from writing for the show until E! agreed to cover the writers under a Guild contract. Rivers settled with WGA East over the dispute earlier this month. Former writers for the show have been on strike since mid-April … Read More »

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Joan Rivers Settles With WGA East Over ‘Fashion Police’ Dispute

By | Monday October 7, 2013 @ 11:43am PDT

As part of the deal struck today between Joan Rivers and the WGA East, the Fashion Police host said that she will not “render any writing services even though as a comedian and SAG-AFTRA host, I often write material for myself.” The WGA East had set an October 14 disciplinary hearing in New York to determine whether the E! host violated the union’s rules by writing and performing showrunner duties for the E! Network show during its current writers strike. Action could have resulted in Rivers becoming the first member of that guild to be tossed, and she had called the trial board hearing “a bunch of bullsh*t“. Former writers for show have been on strike since mid-April for over $1 million in back wages and overtime. Rivers and the network contend have that Rivers played no part in the situation that led to the dispute. Read More »

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Joan Rivers Gets October Date For WGA East ‘Fashion Police’ Hearing

By | Tuesday September 10, 2013 @ 12:11pm PDT

Over a month ago, Joan Rivers called the upcoming Writers Guild of America East trial board hearing over her role on Fashion Police, “a bunch of bullshit.” Next month, the veteran comedienne and longtime WGA member will find out if that’s true or if she’s being shown the union door – or both. The WGA East has set an October 14 meeting in its NYC offices for Rivers and the three-judge panel. The hearing will seek to determine if the E! host “violated the union’s rules by writing and by performing showrunner duties for the E! Network show Fashion Police. WGA members are not permitted under union rules to work on non-union shows. The result of that hearing, which will go to the WGA East council for final affirmation or rejection, could see Rivers tossed out of the Guild – the first member of the WGA East ever to suffer such a fate. The WGA East first announced back on July 10 that it was taking the first steps in the disciplinary measure. Former writers for the E! Entertainment show have been out on strike since mid-April for over $1 million in back wages and overtime. Both Rivers’ management and E! have said repeatedly that Rivers played no part in the situation in dispute on Fashion Police. Now the WGA East will try to figure out if they were telling the truth or not.

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Joan Rivers Calls WGA Hearing “Bulls**t”

By | Friday August 2, 2013 @ 4:31pm PDT

The veteran comedienne and longtime Writers Guild of America member doesn’t want to talk, she wants to call the union out. “This is such a bunch of bullshit. E! should hire Anthony Weiner to work with these people. He’d fit right in,” Joan Rivers said in a statement Friday about the WGA East setting a trial board hearing over her role on Fashion Police. Variety first reported the statement by Rivers. Three unnamed judges will determine if Rivers “violated the union’s rules by writing and by performing showrunner duties for the E! Network show Fashion Police.” The result of the hearing, which will go to the WGA East council for final affirmation or rejection, holds serious implications for both Rivers and the guild because WGA members are not permitted to work on non-union shows. The WGA East first announced back on July 10 that it was taking the opening salvo disciplinary measure. Former writers for the E! Entertainment show have been out on strike since mid April for over $1 million in back wages and overtime.  Since they first filed claims with California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in early April, the non-unionized FP writers have been backed by the WGA in their fight. On April 10, the writers added Rivers’ production company to their claims. Both Rivers’ management and E! have said repeatedly … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Fashion Police’ Writers Strike Is “Issue Between E! & WGA” Says Joan Rivers Manager

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 3:05pm PDT

UPDATE, 3:05 PM: Joan Rivers‘ reps haven’t heard anything from anyone at the WGA about the TV host violating union rules and any trial board hearing over her role on Fashion Police. And even if they had, they say the union is going after the wrong party. “Other than a press release, nothing has been filed by the WGA,” River’s personal manager Larry Thompson told me today after the union’s announcement this morning. “We have received no communication, notice or any paperwork from anyone at the union.  Joan has stated clearly, and E! Networks has repeatedly reconfirmed that Joan supports the Fashion Police writers who are hired by E! Networks Productions, not her.  This is an issue between E! and the WGA.  She is on-air talent.”

PREVIOUSLY, 8:05 AM: Can we talk? First striking scribes slam her and now the Fashion Police host is in trouble with the Writers Guild itself. The Council of the Writers Guild of America, East announced today that Joan Rivers “violated the union’s rules by writing and by performing showrunner duties for the E! Network show Fashion Police.” The guild voted last week to send these charges against lifetime members Rivers to Read More »

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Striking ‘Fashion Police’ Writers Slam “Non-Receptive” Joan Rivers: Video

By | Tuesday July 9, 2013 @ 10:42am PDT

At the same time as Fashion Police‘s writers have been embroiled in a labor dispute with E! and host Joan Rivers‘ production company, the show has been airing new episodes every week — some of which include material written by the very non-union scribes before they went on strike in the spring. According to E!, the last Fashion Police episode to feature work from the protesting writers aired on April 19 – that’s nearly three weeks after the labor dispute began. In recent months, the fashion-dish panel show has not featured any material from the striking writers says the channel. However, the striking writers have been active on other fronts. There was a protest outside E!’s Wilshire HQ in late May. Today the scribes, who are seeking more than $1 million in back wages and are backed by the WGA in the fight, appeared in a 3-minute video today talking about Rivers’ lack of support. “Actions speak louder than words: If Joan supported the writers this would be over,” scribe Jackie Beat said. Not so, says E! “Joan Rivers has been and remains emphatically supportive of the writers.  Her company does not produce Fashion Police nor set the compensation of E! Networks Productions’ writers,” said the channel today Check out the writers’ video here:

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‘Fashion Police’ Writers Chant On Picket Lines: “Give Us Back Our Paycheck B****”

By | Thursday May 23, 2013 @ 12:25pm PDT

Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor

UPDATE, 12:25 PM: The protest just wrapped up around its scheduled 12:30 PM target. Among the speakers was writer Bryan Cook, who addressed the picketers that reached about 150 in number and generated notice from passersby on foot and in cars along Wilshire Boulevard. He touched on why the writers are seeking union representation. “We’ve worked hard to make Fashion Police one of E!’s top-rated shows, and we don’t even get health care benefits,” he said. “It can be hard to get how hard this work is. It’s not like were working in a coal mine — you can’t get black lung from writing jokes, but rest assured, E! will try to find a way.” Said fellow writer Ed Rice to Deadline as the event was breaking up: “I don’t know what’s specifically next on our part. To a certain extent, its a stand-off — the ball’s really in their court. What we want is a phone call from the network to our representative at the guild saying they accept them as representation and would like to offer us a guild contract. That’s the only next step from the network we will accept.”

PREVIOUS, 11:43 AM: Striking writers from the Joan Rivers-hosted series Fashion Police are protesting today in front of E!‘s headquarters on the Miracle Mile in LA. Among the chants overheard from the 100-plus on the scene holding signs: “We’re … Read More »

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WGA Sets Rally For Striking ‘Fashion Police’ Writers

By | Monday May 20, 2013 @ 4:39pm PDT

Less than a week after E! President Suzanne Kolb told striking writers on Fashion Police that their guild is the real enemy, the WGA has organized a rally in support of the picketers. In an email to members today, the guild said the action is set for 11:30 AM-12:30 PM Thursday at E!’s headquarters on LA’s Miracle Mile. Writers on the series hosted by fellow WGA member Joan Rivers went on strike in April claiming E! owes them more than $1M in back wages.

Related:
E! Tells Striking ‘Fashion Police’ Writers WGA Is Costing Them Money

Striking Writers on E!’s ‘Fashion Police’ Clarify Their Stance

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E! Tells Striking ‘Fashion Police’ Writers That WGA Costing Them Money

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 12:21pm PDT

E! president Suzanne Kolb wants the writers who went on strike in early April against the Joan Rivers-hosted Fashion Police to know that the WGA West is their real enemy not the network. “The WGA has convinced you that a strike is necessary in order to gain a union contract. But history at E! has shown that not to be true. You are actually losing paychecks because of the guild’s dislike of elections,” she wrote in a letter to the striking scribes that was released today. The writers have said that because a majority of them already want to be represented by the WGA, no election is required. The WGA West assisted the scribes in their complaint last month to the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. In her letter today, Kolb also made a point of deflecting any blame for the situation from WGA member Rivers, whose production company the writers added on April 10 to their complaint to the state. “Joan Rivers has been and remains emphatically supportive of you,” she wrote. “The responsibility of the show lies on my shoulders, not hers,” Kolb added.  The first public remarks from Kolb on the matter didn’t seem to get to her intended audience in a timely fashion. Two writers from the show tell me that they haven’t received a copy of the letter this morning. One writer says he got the letter … Read More »

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Striking Writers on E!’s ‘Fashion Police’ Clarify Their Stance

By | Friday April 26, 2013 @ 8:51am PDT

The scribes who went on strike last week against E!‘s Joan Rivers-hosted panel series Fashion Police and Rivers’ production company have sent another response to the network. They say E! has falsely characterized the situation by suggesting that holding an election to determine if a majority of writers want to join the WGA would lead to talks. The scribes say a majority has already been determined, so that plan doesn’t fly (they had already said the network’s call for elections was a “stalling tactic”). Here’s today’s letter, which also seems to indicate that E! hasn’t contacted WGA reps yet in the matter:

The only possible purpose of holding an election would be to determine if a majority of Fashion Police writers wish to be represented by the Writers Guild of America in this matter. That determination has already been made. A majority of Fashion Police writers have contacted the company numerous times to indicate that they want to be represented by the Guild. A majority of Fashion Police writers have signed union cards indicating the same thing. And last week a majority of Fashion Police writers indicated their support by walking off the job in a collective action designed to force the Company to offer us, without further delay, a Guild contract. We are not interested in fighting over yet another means of demonstrating that we represent a majority of the Fashion Police writing staff. We are

Read More »

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2ND UPDATE: ‘Fashion Police’ Writers Accuse E! Of Employing “Stalling Tactic”

By | Wednesday April 17, 2013 @ 5:00pm PDT

2ND UPDATE 5 PM: The striking Fashion Police writers just issued a statement in response to E!’s memo earlier today:

The election the Company is calling for is a well-known stalling tactic. By ignoring for weeks our repeated requests for negotiation of a fair deal, E! has forced us to vote with our feet. The best way our fellow Guild member Joan Rivers can show us her support is by putting down her pen until a WGA contract is in place.

UPDATE 1:20 PM: E! is reacting to this morning’s move by the writers on the cable network’s popular series Fashion Police to walk off the job in a quest for WGA representation. In an internal memo to E! staff, the network’s president Suzanne Kolb said E! brass are “disappointed” by the action and ready to sit down immediately for negotiations with WGA representatives. (full memo below). Meanwhile, Fashion Police co-host Joan Rivers, whose company co-produces the series with E!, “has gone on record repeatedly that she supports the Fashion Police writers and wants a fair agreement for them,” E! said. Read More »

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‘Fashion Police’ Writers Now File Labor Complaints Against Joan Rivers’ Company

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 11:53am PDT

Joan RiversThere are more labor problems for Fashion Police. Today host Joan Rivers’ Rugby Productions had complaints filed against it by four more writers on the E! series. The scribes’ latest claims for back pay with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement adds $400,000 to the $1.1 million that the reality show writers are already seeking in previous filings with the state last week. There are now 12 Fashion Police writers having filed claims against the show. As part of its process, the DLSE will hold hearings to see if in fact Rugby and Comcast-owned broadcaster E! Network are liable to the writers for back pay and penalties. Though Fashion Police is not unionized, the WGA West helped the writers with the legal paperwork today as it did in the complaints with the DLSE the writers filed against E! on April 3. Rivers herself is a member of the Guild. Fashion Police violated state laws requiring an employer to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all the time they worked in an eight-hour period, claim the writers. The scribes are also citing the law that requires overtime payment any work performed beyond eight hours in any workday or 40 hours in any workweek. “We have not seen any claim filed by anyone anywhere and therefore cannot comment at this time,” Rivers manager Larry A. Thompson told me today. E! said last … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Fashion Police’ Writers Say E! Broke State Labor Laws & Owe $1M In Wages

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 1:09pm PDT

UPDATE, 1:09 PM: E! has responded to the claims that Fashion Police writers have made to the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement office that the network owes them more than $1 million in back wages. “E! values our Fashion Police writers and we pay them fairly and in full legal compliance,” the network said today. The WGA West helped the reality TV scribes with the filing to the DLSE against the non-unionized show.

PREVIOUSLY, 11:38 AM: E!’s Joan Rivers-hosted fashion-dish panel show Fashion Police ran afoul of California law by not compensating its writers for all of the regular and overtime hours they’ve worked, according to a filing with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement office. Though the show is not unionized, the WGA West helped the writers with the legal paperwork and sent out this release today:

Los Angeles – Writers on E!’s Fashion Police filed claims today with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) that could result in the cable TV network having to pay more than one million dollars in back wages. The writers allege that E! has broken state labor law by not compensating them for all of the regular and overtime hours they’ve worked.

According to the writers, Fashion Police ignores the California laws that require an employer to pay hourly employees their regular wage rate for all time worked in an eight-hour period. In addition, the law requires paying overtime for employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek.

Read More »

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