The Shmooze

Joan Rivers vs. Writers Guild of America

By Anne Cohen

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Joan Rivers

“Fashion Police” guru Joan Rivers is in hot water with the Writers Guild of America.

The Council of the Writers Guild of America East voted to send charges filed against Rivers to a trial board Wednesday, raising the stakes in the ongoing strike of “Fashion Police” writers, Variety reported.

“The writers on that show are paid a fraction of industry-standard compensation and receive no health or pension benefits,” a statement released by the WGA East read.

“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,” added WGA East president Michael Winship in the same release.

“The question of whether she has, in fact, violated our working rules will be decided by the trial board,” he added. “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.”

Rivers, a lifetime member of the WGA East will appear before a three-person trial board to present her case. The representatives have yet to be chosen.

In a series of Youtube clips released to explain the strikers’ point of view, writers expressed their extreme disappointment at Rivers’ lack of support for the strike.

“The fact that Joan Rivers isn’t just the star, but a member of the Writers Guild and she won’t support her fellow Writers Guild member, is just astonishing to me,”said Nic Rice, one of the writers. “It’s such a basic fairness issue.”


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