11/15/07

Writers claim victory over DeGeneres

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has cancelled plans to tape her show next week in New York City after striking members of the Writers Guild East protested.

"She knows that the Writers Guild East would have been there to protest her lack of solidarity, not only with her Guild writing staff but all the striking members of the Writers Guild, of which she is a member," said Michael Winship, president of the East Coast chapter of the Writers Guild, which went on strike Nov. 5.

Laura Mandel, a spokesperson for the show, refused to confirm whether the cancellation was due to the strike. "We make changes all of the time. Our schedule is always fluid."

Winship's chapter has been critical of the comedian, who continues to produce her show out of Los Angeles despite a walkout by writers. DeGeneres has done away with her opening monologue but has continued with the chat part of her show.

That's in contrast to several stars such as Steve Carell of The Office and Tina Fey of 30 Rock, who have refused to cross picket lines, thus shuttering their shows. As well, many talk shows are off the air, including The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

DeGeneres told her studio audience last week that while she supported the striking writers, she had contractual obligations to continue her hosting duties.

Talks broke off between the union and Hollywood producers over one main issue: compensation for digital content. The writers want a larger piece of the pie when their material is shown on the internet, over cellphones as well as DVDs.

(cbc.ca)

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