Joan Rivers Could Lose WGA Membership Over “Fashion Police” Writers Strike

Joan-RiversThe fight for fair wages continues for the group of writers on strike from the E! Network’s Fashion Police, who are allegedly still owed $1.5 million in wages and overtime. Though she’s kept herself distant from the strike, Joan Rivers may ultimately be the one to get the shaft (on a technicality) in this sticky situation.

The Council of the Writers Guild of America East announced this week that it will file charges against Rivers, claiming she violated union rules by writing for the show. Fashion Police is not under WGA jurisdiction, meaning Rivers’ work for the non-union show could violate her membership.

If the charges filed against her are true, Joan Rivers will become the first member expelled from the WGA East.

Joan’s manager, Larry Thompson, says they have not yet received the charges:

“Other than a press release, nothing has been filed by the WGA. We have received no communication, notice or any paperwork from anyone at the union. Joan has stated clearly, and E! Networks has repeatedly reconfirmed that Joan supports the Fashion Police writers who are hired by E! Networks Productions, not her. This is an issue between E! and the WGA. She is on-air talent.”

The WGA East said Wednesday that Joan will have a chance to present her case directly to a trial board once members have been appointed. In the meantime, WGA East continues to pin some of the strike’s blame on Rivers, saying “the writers on that show are paid a fraction of industry-standard compensation,” and they’re “distressed” that “Joan Rivers…turned her back on other writers who are still building careers of their own.”

This week, WGA West released videos of the Fashion Police writers pleading for Joan’s help.

In it, they claim Joan was “completely non-receptive” to their request to unionize, one even adding the heartbreak she felt during discussions: “It was so upsetting to me, to find out that this person who had meant so much to me, I meant so little to her.”

What a mess! Do you think Joan Rivers should bear the burden of it?

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  • Polaro

    If true, I think her behavior sucks, but what is her position? You never report why Joan and her very successful show seem to be so unreasonable with the writers. Fashion Police is a surprise hit. Its revived Joan’s flailing career. Its given Kelly Osborn a real job, likability and credibility. It gave George fame and notoriety. It gave Melissa Rivers a job she appears to be good at. It gave Juliana another pay check. Why would these people begrudge the writers? Could it be that Joan actually writes most of her own stuff? I don’t know. It does not make sense that these people would be that greedy. Report the whole story.

  • Shane

    Nice trying to sensationalize this story, but the contention is really between the writers and the network, not Joan Rivers herself.

  • briant

    @Shane: When the writers for The Soup and Chelsea Lately unionized Joel McHale and Chelsea Handler stood with them, while Joan has done the opposite. She’s got the most sway with the network, having her on their side would give them the upper hand in negotiations.

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