Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Joan Rivers Brought Up on Charges by the Writers Guild East


Wow. Joan Rivers, who’s always been very pro-union and a writers’ advocate, is being brought up on charges by the Writers Guild East. We will try and get a response from Joan ASAP.

Here’s what they say:

New York– The Council of the Writers Guild of America, East voted July 3rd to send charges filed against Joan Rivers, a lifetime member of WGAE, to a hearing before a three-person trial board.

The charges allege that Rivers violated the union’s rules by writing and by performing showrunner duties for the E! Network show Fashion Police. Writers Guild members have been on strike against Fashion Police since April 17, 2013. The writers on that show are paid a fraction of industry-standard compensation and receive no health or pension benefits.

The WGAE’s governing body determined that, if the charges against Rivers are proven to be accurate, then they would constitute a violation of the union’s rules; accordingly, pursuant to the WGAE’s constitution and by-laws, the Council referred the charges to a trial board. A trial board of three WGAE members will be appointed shortly. Rivers will be given the opportunity to present her case directly to the trial board, which will also hear evidence, including from the striking writers.

“We are distressed by reports that Joan Rivers, who worked so hard to create an illustrious career, turned her back on other writers who are still building careers of their own,”  said Michael Winship, WGAE President. “The question of whether she has, in fact, violated our working rules will be decided by the trial board.  We cannot pre-judge the outcome, but we can say that it is a very serious matter when a member is accused of writing and showrunning on a non-covered show, and continuing to do so after the other writers have decided to go on strike for reasonable pay and benefits.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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