Joan Rivers is caught up in the war between E! and it’s writers. Weeks ago, the Fashion Police host found herself in trouble with the WGA (Writers Guild of America) for writing for the E! series during the writers strike.
The writers of E! have been on strike since April, seeking pension and health benefits, as well as residuals and what it calls “industry-standard compensation.” However, although the writers were on strike, Joan had allegedly continued writing for Fashion Police. As a result, the WGA brought charges against Joan, claiming that she was going against the strike.
Luckily, in early October, it was announced that Joan and the WGA had come to an agreement and that the WGA wouldn’t be moving forward with a disciplinary hearing.
Still, the drama has lived on. A short time after Joan and the WGA came to terms, Joan announced that she was taking E!’s side in the writers strike which didn’t come as good news to the WGA.
“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,” Joan said in an interview. But prior to that, she had said, “It’s time for both sides to sit down at the table and negotiate. Forget about (holding a union representation) election. We all want the same thing – to get this behind us – so let’s make this deal!”
At first glance, Joan seemed to be torn between the two entities, or perhaps just confused at the circumstances facing each of them. Either way, the writers weren’t thrilled.
As soon as Joan released the statement, a group called Friends of the Fashion Police Writers, which claims to be composed of the striking writers plus supporters, released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Is WGAE President Michael Winship aware of the interview and Joan’s replies? Does Michael Winship plan to schedule a new hearing for Joan Rivers regarding possible disciplinary action and/or expulsion for lying to him and the WGAE? And if not, why not? Joan Rivers is a hypocrite and must be held accountable for the lies she tells while her writing staff continues to suffer.”
Since Joan had first sided with the WGA and then changed her tune, the writers found her actions contradictory. And as if her siding with E! wasn’t enough, Joan also slammed the team of writers, calling them “poor schmuck writers” and saying, “You know, you want to go like, ‘You a**hole, you’re stupid! Everyone get together. Calm down.’ … Everyone is posturing, like, ‘My d**k is bigger than your d-**k.’ … And … you know, they’re all idiots.”
Days after the writers’ statement was released, WGA president Michael Winship released a statement of his own.
“The Writers Guild of America, East, has been made aware of Ms. Joan River’s recent derisive and crude comments about the hardworking and mistreated writers of Fashion Police, who have been on strike for months trying to gain union representation and the redress of terrible wages and working conditions,” the statement, also to The Hollywood Reporter, read. “What she has said is not only reprehensible but flies in the face of a settlement with the WGAE to which she agreed. How dare she at first proclaim solidarity with fellow writers and then so crassly stab them in the back? She should be ashamed of herself, although it is clear that the concept of shame does not trouble what little conscience she has. Because the strike continues, she must continue to refuse to write, but her latest statement egregiously violates the spirit of the rest of the settlement. We are exploring all options.”
In the meantime, Joan continues to host Fashion Police but is, of course, not yet back to writing.
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