labor pains

Brave Celebrities Defy Writers Guild, Support Union-Busting Tyler Perry

Cross-dressing comedy mogul Tyler Perry is currently under fire for terminating four writers on his TBS sitcom Tyler Perry’s House of Payne last Tuesday, supposedly because they were seeking representation from the Writers Guild. On Friday, the WGAW filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against Perry’s production company alleging that he told the scribes, “Be careful about pushing the WGA deal or you could be replaced.” But how did the controversy affect the opening of Perry’s new Atlanta film and TV studio over the weekend?

WGAW president Patric Verrone released a statement on Thursday calling attention to Saturday night’s opening of Perry’s new production studio in Atlanta, announcing plans to protest the event and asking all invited guests “not to cross our picket line in a show of solidarity with the fired writers.” Oprah, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Sidney Poitier, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Whitney Houston, Barry Bonds, and Hank Aaron must not have checked Deadline Hollywood Daily, though, as they all showed up and looked like they had a very nice time.

But didn’t they almost cancel February’s Oscars for fear that stars might not cross WGA picket lines? Why such a large celebrity turnout on Saturday? Does nobody, given the state of the economy and havoc wreaked by last fall’s writers’ strike, have the stomach for another WGA-related labor dispute? (We certainly don’t!) Did the guild use up the last of its sympathy when it bullied poor Carson Daly and screwed up last year’s TV season (and this year’s too, probably!)? That would totally make sense to us!

Tyler Perry unveils new studio in Atlanta [AP]
WGA vs Tyler Perry Productions, Contd [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
Tyler Perry Fires 4 Writers For Union Activity; Atlanta Opening Of Perry’s New Studio Will Be Picketed; Invited Actors And Guests Being Asked Not To Attend [Deadline Hollywood Daily]

Brave Celebrities Defy Writers Guild, Support Union-Busting Tyler Perry