“Fashion Police” writer Larry Amoros fired back at the Writers Guild of America on Monday, accusing the union of running a “smear campaign” against him after it issued a news release earlier in the day that said he had been expelled for “scab writing” during the ongoing strike.
“How can the WGA throw me out of a club, I am not a member of? Next week, I look forward to being expelled from the NFL for not being a football player,” said Amoros, who said he has not been an active member of the WGA since 1998 and hasn’t paid dues in 15 years.
The Board of Directors of the WGAW also levied a $14,000 fine against Amoros, who it says was doing the work of eight “Fashion Police” writers who walked off the job in April seeking WGA representation.
“I’m saddened that my talented colleagues are being used as pawns by the WGA West leadership in its war against E! and that this never ending folly has cost them work and deprived people of their talent and humor,” Amoros said.
“The WGA West has been carrying on like this for months and it seems that all it has done is wasted time, money cost writers work, created ill-will.”
Amoros said that he resigned last month in a letter to WGA President Chris Keyser after the WGA threatened to expel Amoros if he didn’t meet with Keyser, and he refused so that he wouldn’t be “ratting out the other writers on ‘Fashion Police.'”
He said the WGA wanted him to provide information that might help the Writers Guild East prior to its trial on charges against Joan Rivers, which would have been held on Monday. Last week the WGAE and Rivers settled, with the host agreeing to stop writing while the strike was on and agreeing to urge the Comcast-owned E! Network to negotiate with the striking writers.
Late Monday, the WGA responded to Amoros’ statements.
“When the strike at ‘Fashion Police’ was sanctioned by the WGAW on April 17 and the work stoppage order was issued, Mr. Amoros was a current member who, as he noted, was behind in his dues,” the guild said in a statement.
“That did not excuse him from the obligations laid out in the Guild’s constitution and Working Rules. We acknowledge that he submitted a resignation email on September 21, 2013, however, the disciplinary action was based on conduct he committed before he decided to resign.”
While all this has been going on, E! hasn’t changed its position and the striking writers are still out of their jobs. The network said last week that its position on “Fashion Police,” one of its most highly rated shows, hadn’t changed.
“This is an issue between E! and the WGAW, and we continue to believe that an NLRB administered election prior to collective bargaining is a fair and important part of the process. We’ve taken every possible step to expedite an election so we can move forward as quickly as possible.”
The writers want E! to recognize the WGAW as their bargaining representative, while the network is insisting on a National Labor Relations Board-sanctioned election, a more time-consuming process.
The strike started after writers filed complaints with the state of California alleging that E! and Rivers’ Rugby Productions had not paid $1.5 million in wages and overtime. The WGA assisted in the filing of the claims and is sanctioning the strike.