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Writers not happy with Ellen DeGeneres

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 9th 2007 2:36PM

Ellen DeGeneresYup, she's working.

Ellen DeGeneres crossed the picket line and went back to work hosting her TV talk show, and writers aren't happy about it at all. In the opening of her show today, she told the audience that she wasn't going to do a monologue and that she loves and supports the writers, but she wanted to go on with the show for the studio audience that had traveled a long way to see her show.

Writers aren't happy. In fact, Dan Tobin, who was a writer on her 2001-2002 sitcom The Ellen Show (that's the one where she was an ex-dot com exec who moved back to her small hometown) says on his strike blog (not the site listed in the NY Post story, which is wrong) that Ellen has always treated her writers badly. Well, those weren't the exact words but I cleaned them up. Tobin says that she was smiling and happy for the cameras but terrible to writers when the camera was off and never really thanked them. In fact, he says that she boasted about firing the first season's head writer, who later went on to win two Emmys and create Arrested Development.

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@ karen - Who hurt you? :-(

I do believe people do deserve things especially when they’ve worked hard for them. They should not be taken for granted just because their not the headliners. Without writers on shows & movies most actors would have nothing interesting to say.

Back to post.

I feel this writer is a bite off track and may have some past resentment towards Ellen. Most know that Ellen does support the writers strike. I believe I read somewhere she is a member of the WGA. She’s contractionlily obligated to do her show or it could be cancelled or she could be sued by the network. This is November Sweeps so she could not just stop shooting. As to giving her audience puppies that would have been a great remedy but her luck that could easily have gone bad too.

November 10 2007 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's nice that Ellen considered her studio audience. But I can see why the writers are mad.

We know how the writers feel. And many actors are jumping in to support to the writers (probably because their contract is up next year). But what does the average American think of the strike? Do you support the writers?


November 10 2007 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oreo - I've made it clear that I think the writers should be paid whatewever they can negotiate on their own terms. I oppose the union, the strike and organized labor of any kind.

I do not have an opinion on what the writers should earn as far as residuals go. I personally do not think it is their "right." I don't even believe in the concept that good writers should make more than bad writers. Part of working is negotiating your pay ( and benefits ).

I think the very idea that all people involved in the production of a tv show (or whatever) should have equal type pay is ridiculous. It doesn't bother me a bit if guy A makes $1 mil, actor b make 100k and writer c makes $100. It is whatever the market determines is fair based on what consumers are willing to pay, etc. and whatever the employer is willing to pay for your services. Don't like the pay - go elsewhere. Can't find work elsewhere - find a different field.

I don't think people DESERVE anything. They earn things.

And the writers are holding their employers HOSTAGE and should be considered criminals in my view.

As a studio head - I would go bankrupt (then start over and succeed again) before I would give one nickel to a striking employee.

November 10 2007 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ellen should not have crossed the picket line.

If she wanted to make disappointed audience members happy, she could have given them all puppies. She's good at that.

November 10 2007 at 4:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Crews do get residuals. They get unemployment during a strike which, while not ideal, is at least a little something. And like the writers, they do have a union that makes sure they have things like health insurance and pensions, which makes them better off than at least 1/6 of the general population.

Don't get me wrong, I think it sucks for them to be caught in the middle and helpless to fix things. And I hope there is a quick resolution as well.

November 09 2007 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj green

What a crock. One of Ellen's best friends is one of her writers. She is one of the nicest people out there. One guy is mad, so now everyone is saying AH HA! I do agree with the writers getting paid for DVDs, etc, but also let us not forget that without the star, without the show, they wouldn't be working.

November 09 2007 at 9:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm for the strike and support the writers 100%. But I also recognize (as it seems most people fail to) that there are many livelihoods at stake beyond the writers'. Aside from the fans who came to the show (and even though I'm not an "Ellen" fan, there are other big shows I've travelled to see, and would be pissed at being out $1000 because a strike has halted production) there are thousands and thousands of other employees in Hollywood who will be laid off if this strike continues.

The fact that Ellen can do her show sans-writers means she should do it, both because she is contractually obligated and because it keeps people employed. If shows do start laying off workers, though, I certainly don't blame the writers -- I blame the studios for not being willing to give the writers reasonable compensation, forcing this whole situation.

As for the former writer bashing Ellen -- there are disgruntled employees in every field. There are also just situations where one person does get along with another person, no matter what. Believing random accounts of a person's character without actually knowing that person is just ridiculous. I'm no "fan" of Ellen, but c'mon now!

November 09 2007 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So you are in favor of the writers getting screwed over?

November 09 2007 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You can be for the writers and against the strike.

I'm not a fan of Ellen. She became more political (again) this year and I tuned her out. However, I think I'll now watch to show support.

And by the way....those of us that disagree with the strike understand the issues just fine. We just don't agree with the strike. So get off your pompous high horse and get over yourself.

November 09 2007 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I understand trying to keep the fans happy, but she should start every show off by going "I have no writers today because the networks airing this show are greedy bullshiters, so if my jokes are worse than normal that's why. I hope you all will join be after the show to back my writers."

This strike sucks, I hate the asshole network people.

November 09 2007 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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