From the headline on AOL, I can see I’m not the only blogger saying “Tsk tsk tsk!” to Ellen DeGeneres. Seems, after showing initial one-day solidarity with her writers and the current writers’ strike by not taping on Monday, she went back to doing the show sans writers, with her sole concession being no monologue.
According to the article Bloggers Blast Strike-Breaking ‘Ellen‘:
“I want to say I love my writers,” DeGeneres said on Tuesday’s show. “I love them. In honor of them today, I’m not going to do a monologue. I support them and hope that they get everything they’re asking for.” DeGeneres goes on to say that she’s continuing her show because “people have traveled across the country” to attend and be guests on her show, and she wants to “do everything I can to make your trip enjoyable and give you a show.”
Now I’m a huge fan of Ellen and know she is not the only one crossing the picket line. I understand her network and contractual obligations put fierce pressure on her. Most likely her decision was a tough personal struggle for her. And most likely she felt she really had no choice.
But Ellen…these are your writers and they have legitimate gripes. If you really didn’t want to disappoint your audience, well, then maybe you could have offered them an alternative…like, for instance, a private special one-woman performance just for them.
OK…maybe not at the network studio considering how pissed they’d be. But I bet the Writer’s Guild or a sister union would gladly have provided a theater for your “I Support My Writers Concert”. Man…how great that would have been!
And thinking further with a bit of a wink to the issue at hand…if you really support your writers and the reason they are striking, then you could have sold DVDs of that special show and donated all proceeds to the Writers Guild and its efforts to make sure its members get a fair share of the pie. Because we never see their faces, we sometimes forget that without them there’d be no TV or films.
But they have faces. And they have real worthwhile arguments for why they deserve a better percentage of the present and future revenues from new technology, which will only grow and grow as a percentage of that aforementioned pie.
Studios are now mounting pressure on their stars to return to their shows and leave the writers hanging out there on their own. And maybe, they will be forced to do so contractually. But I honor each and every one who has had the guts to join in, for as long as they can, and fight for what’s fair and decent for the very people who make their careers possible.
Solidarity brothers and sisters! Good luck.