devoted readers know how much i adore ellen. well it was much to my disappointment that she crossed the wga picket line last week and proceeded on without her writers. i’ve been watching the show, as i always do, on my dvr and, notably, it’s not as good. i admire ellen’s work ethic and the fact that she loves her public and what she does. but after busting her ass in hollywood after all these years, working tirelessly to overcome all kinds of injustice and get the audience and remuneration she deserves, i expected ellen to show her solidarity with the wga.
sure, for ellen it would be much more risky than it is for jay leno, dave letterman, conan, jon stuart and steven cobert, whose shows are owned by the networks rather than tv stations. those guys lose nothing by honoring the strike. actually, they get a sweet free vacation, though their per diem staff get pink slips if the strike persists for another week. ellen, in contrast, is a syndicated show that’s owned by the tv stations that choose to broadcast it. under the terms of the contract, if ellen does not turn out fresh episodes, the television stations have the right to yank her show from the timeslot and replace it with something else. so yes, she’s in a tough situation. yet the haste with which she crossed the picket lines bothers me. couldn’t she have waited a week? is her situation with the stations really that tenuous?
the wga released a passive aggressive note of sorts calling ellen out:
“we find it sad that ellen spent an entire week crying and fighting for a dog that she gave away, yet she couldn’t even stand by writers for more than one day ─ writers who have helped make her extremely successful.”
i tend to agree with them. yeah, she’s in a rough spot but as a multimillionare with all kinds of influence, i hoped ellen would have taken on this opportunity to right some wrongs. if there’s ever something to take a stand on, that’s relevant to ellen and her life, i believe this is it.