Joan Rivers and WGA settle ‘Fashion Police’ dispute

Joan and Melissa Rivers
Comedian Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa Rivers in New York. Joan leads a panel on “Fashion Police,” which has been in a dispute with the Writers Guild of America. Melissa is a co-executive producer and an occasional panelist as well.
(Dan Hallman / Invision / Associated Press)

Comedian Joan Rivers has ended her spat with the Writers Guild of America.

Rivers and the Writers Guild of America, East announced Monday that they have resolved the charges brought against the host of the “Fashion Police” show, ending an acrimonious dispute between the writers union and the outspoken comedian.

Rivers faced sanctions and possible expulsion from the guild over allegations that she violated the union’s Working Rule 8, which prohibits writers from working on a struck show.  Rivers was set to face a union trial next week.

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“As a lifetime member of the WGA, I have always supported the writers and want what’s best for them,” Rivers said in a statement. “In further support of the striking writers, I’ve decided not to render any writing services even though as a comedian and SAG-AFTRA host, I often write material for myself. Rest assured, though, I will always say what’s on my mind.”

Writers of E!’s “Fashion Police” went on strike April 17. Under Rivers’ SAG-AFTRA contract, Rivers is obligated to continue hosting the program during a strike; however, the WGAE and Rivers disagreed over whether such host duties include writing. 

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Michael Winship, WGAE president, said: “We are very pleased that we have been able to resolve the charges against Ms. Rivers and will not be proceeding to a disciplinary hearing. We recognize Ms. Rivers’ support for the striking writers and her illustrious career.  We are also pleased that, as part of the resolution of the charges, Ms. Rivers has agreed not to write during the strike and to meet with E! to advocate for immediate contract negotiations in support of the “Fashion Police” writers." 


Rivers added: “It’s time for both sides to sit down at the table and negotiate.  Forget about the election. We all want the same thing — to get this behind us — so let’s make this deal.”


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