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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tyler Perry Protesters

From an early morning email received from Jayson Pope, WGAW Organizing Department:

Please forward to everyone you know in Atlanta. Let your voices be heard and tell Tyler Perry he should treat the writers, who write his hit show, with fairness and respect! He directs all the shows and gets a DGA union pay scale. His actors get paid SAG wages. Only the writers are being shut out of their fair share. Why is Tyler Perry dissing the writers who helped make his show possible?

The writers of Tyler Perry's House of Payne need your support. Read what happened!

To the public Tyler Perry is the model of self-made success. His sit-com "House of Payne" is the highest-rated sit-com in the history of basic cable. He signed a deal with TBS for $200 million and sold the syndicated rights

to MyNetwork for $100 million. He has won NAACP Image Awards for the much-needed diversity his films and TV shows bring to the screen.

But Tyler Perry doesn't do it all himself. We are writers who have helped "House of Payne" become the success that it is. We have written over
100 episodes of House of Payne in just 2 seasons and received compensation well below industry standards, no health care benefits and no residuals.

When we asked to be treated as professionals and receive minimums and benefits protected by a WGA contract, Tyler Perry illegally fired us.

Please read the attached Press Release and see the Turnout Flyer and join the picket line in ATL at Tyler Perry Studios!

In solidarity,

Jayson Pope
WGAW Organizing Department
323 782-4714

This is from the WGA's Chair of the Committee of Black Writers.

Three of the fired writers are WGA members, and all four have been
trying to get Guild coverage for the show since last year. They have
been coming to CBW meetings (even the non-Guild member) and have met
with the showrunners and writers from the Comedy Central shows who went
on strike and won a contract. Negotiations between Tyler Perry and the
WGA have been going on since April, and this week he showed himself to
have been acting in bad faith all along.

Tyler, like any other sellout exploiter, profits from the desperation of black people
whenever he can. His show is covered by DGA and SAG. The only people
he has denied a union contract are the writers.




As a fan of both Mr. Perry, and of writers getting paid their fair share, I hope this matter is resolved amicably.

There is much to admire in Mr. Perry's drive, ambition, and business acumen. The prolific output of his studio is astonishing. Those who had a hand in his success deserve compensation.

I'm certain Mr. Perry will respond to this matter--and I'll follow-up with his comments.


Anonymous said...

the show is wack anyway! so if you're the writers I wouldn't tell anyone? U guys suck. I never watch HOP. Your work is less than average. Don't take it personal. It's only business. Deal with it and improve.

Gabe said...

Not an especially constructive comment--and harsh words coming from a coward who won't post their own name. If you have the guts to say it, back it up.

CinemaGraveDigger said...

I'm sorry gabe. with all due respect, I have to agree with the first poster to a degree. "House of Payne" is a terrible show. I have honestly declared it as the worst TV sitcom of my existence. I haven't seen anything worse than it. And I don't believe its totally the fault of the writers, especially considering their ridged, uncreative, egotistical, controlling boss. This whole things with his writers might just be his downfall.

Manasia said...

I agree with Gabe. Despite the show being sorry, that does not give you a reason to trash the writers.

They should be paid at their WGA rate.

But the question, are they WGA members? If they are, can't they sue?

Kevin Huxford said...

No, they aren't WGA members. That's the point. They were trying to organize into a WGA shop, basically, and Perry fired them illegally.

I don't know if it was arrogance or ignorance that led him to think he could legally fire them for wanting to collectively bargain. I'm fairly sure that it was avarice that led him to want to fire them for it.

I'm blogging about it in support of their right to organize.

Manasia said...

Good point. Everyone should have the right to organize for fair wages.

But since Georgia is an at will state, I thought it would be hard for a union to organize here.

At any rate, I have lost respect for Mr. Perry, it is ashame to fire folks for wanting far pay.

Chynna said...

I have to agree with Anonymous. The show was horrible. No offense, it was hard to watch. I only watched maybe 3-4 episodes and I couldn't take it. He's right on the improve part. Most of the time I forgot it was on. And Tyler was routing for the show the whole time. He always said it's gotten better and people will enjoy it, he tried but....Are you sure he fired you guys because you tried to form a union or because he couldn't take the bad writing anymore? I mean it is what it is. I can see if the show was amazing and had stellar reviews but truth be told it was horrible. And Tyler Perry is known to give people breaks who wouldn't normally get it in Hollywood. Look at it this way he gave you an chance. Just improve ad move on. Sorry.