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In response to a sharply worded rebuke from the Writers Guild of America to daytime talk show host Ellen Degeneres, representatives for the comedian released the following statement.
‘It is unfair and incorrect to compare The Ellen DeGeneres Show to late night shows such as Leno, Letterman and Conan, all of which are late night network owned and controlled programming. Ellen is a daytime talk show carried on a syndicated basis across individual television stations, no different than, and in direct competition with, Oprah, [Rachael] Ray, Phil, Live with Regis and [Kelly], the View, Martha, Tyra, Jerry, [Maury], and Montel, all of which are in first run daytime syndication and are continuing in production. ‘Ellen has not done anything in violation of the Writer’s Guild of America agreement, or the WGA’s internal ‘Strike Rules’. Telepictures Productions, through its distributor Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, has contractual obligations to continue to deliver original programming to the 220 stations that carry the program. ‘We have asked Ellen to come back to work to fulfill her contractual obligation as host of the show because without original programs the stations can move the show out of its time periods or ultimately hold the company in breach of contract. The company in turn expects Ellen not to breach her contract to host the show. We also wish to preserve the 135 jobs of the staff and the crew whose livelihoods depend on the show continuing. We regret the Writers Guild has chosen to strike and we wish for a quick resolution.’