10/06/2008 09:41:00 AM

Tyler Perry event undisturbed by ousted writers.

Posted by SouthernGurl

The only flaw during Tyler Perry's star-studded event came in the form of several protesters from the Writer Guild who picketed outside the gala. Tyler reportedly fired four of his writers from his television series House of Payne after they filed an unfair-labor-practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against him. The Guild says it's taking on the fight for justice for writers who were fired when they tried to get a union contract with Perry’s production company, House of Payne, LLC. The charge also alleges that the company bargained in bad faith with the Guild, which is seeking to negotiate a contract covering the writers on Perry’s cable television series House of Payne and Meet the Browns. Jeff Hermanson, an assistant executive director for the Writers Guild, said the four writers — Kellie Griffin, Christopher Moore, Teri Brown-Jackson and Lamont Ferrell — had sought a union contract because they felt they were underpaid and lacked benefits. A press statement from the Guild says the writers have written over one hundred episodes of House of Payne. Since April of this year they have been involved in a union organizing campaign with the Writers Guild of America, West so that their work on that show and the upcoming Meet the Browns would be covered by a Guild contract. The statement also claims that despite the enormous success of House of Payne, Perry has refused to agree to a contract that would give the writers health care, pensions, and residuals. On Tuesday of this week he fired the writers, after warning them some weeks ago that they should “be careful about pushing the WGA deal or you could be replaced.”


“I feel like I was slapped in the face, like we were used” said writer and WGAW member Teri Brown-Jackson. “We were good enough to create over a hundred episodes, but now when it comes to reaping the benefits of the show being syndicated and having other spin-offs from it, he decides to let us go unless we accept a horrible offer.”

“Disrespected, betrayed, saddened…it’s hard to describe,” said writer and WGAW member Lamont Ferrell. “The actors and a majority of the production crew on the show were working under union contracts and they received the pay and benefits that you need to survive on in this business. But after all those episodes and success when it came time for us to get a fair contract, we’re told on a conference call ‘sorry, you’re fired.’”

The show’s head writer, Kellie Griffin, added, “A lot of people who fought for civil rights and social justice never really saw what eventually came out of their work. While I’d like to see something positive come out of this for us, if this fight helps future black writers get what they deserve, that’s a good thing.”
A Los Angeles lawyer representing Perry, said the firing of the writers was related to “the quality of their work.”


Mothership said...

There has to be some explanation for those writers being fired. Hell, "House of Payne" is one of his worst outings yet; they shoulda been fired months ago if that was the case. But not to have benefits, etc., that's some sweatshop shyt and Tyler ought/should know better and come better than that. I await to hear his side of the story.

missgeebee said...

Alot of new sitcoms start out slow but, I think the show has picked up some.

I still say at least Tyler is doing something to employ Black actor's and have his Black owned movie studio, we need to support him in doing so.

If the writers were fired because they wanted benefits yes that was wrong, but if they were fired for bad writing they can show some of the beginning house of Payne episodes as proof of the bad writing if this goes to court.

What ever happens I wish Tyler peace and blessing for doing what he needs to do to have his own 40 acres and a mule.

Anonymous said...

How in the he*l does any company at that caliber not offer health insurance to its employees? Unless they are employed as independent contractors, the writers should be receiving health benefits.

I agree, the tv show is the absolute worst--I know he can do better. Wouldn't it be great to see an actress on the caliber of Diahann Carroll on a weekly show? Also, get rid of those smart-mouthed kids. I see no point in perpetuating bad behavior.

Mr. Perry does a good job, but he like most tv producer/directors have a long way to go.

zeezee said...

kudos to TP on the opening of his studio. But, he knows the writers deserve benefits just like the actors and crew. There is no reason for them NOT to have benefits. And the reason given for their firing, sounds a little suspect to me because the writing of that show blows. Hopefully, the writers who come onboard don't sign contracts UNLESS they are guaranteed benefits like everyone else.

Chass said...

C'mon TP. Everyone from the crew, to the actors, to the writers need to be fairly compensated for their work. If it weren't for the writers, you would have no show. Fair is fair and you just need to get up off that cheese and make sure your people receive what they are due.

no wonder hollywood wouldn't have anything to do with you, especially since this is how you do business. This is not a good look Tyler.

JudgeOfGrace said...

Tyler Perry must've forgotten HIS OWN humble beginnings. What goes around will come around. He might be on top of the world now, but after doing this, he may find himself underneath it!!!

African American writers have a very difficult time finding work in TV & Film and if Tyler P has truly terminated these writers because they demanded to be fairly compensated for their creativity, then he's wrong. I can't imagine why the Screen Writers' Guild West would intercede with a charge of unfair labor practices if there was no validity to these writers' charges.

Everything TP has produced has turned to gold and it seems absurd, if these charges are true, that the very people he claims to care so much about are essentially being prostituted. These writers deserve health and retirement benefits, etc. that the actors and production crews recieve.

Come correct, TP!!!

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