The battle between the "Fashion Police" writers and the show's network E! is getting ugly.
About a month after 12 "Fashion Police" writers went on strike -- seeking payment for allegedly unpaid regular and overtime hours totaling $1.5 million, according to Deadline -- things are at a standstill.
The writers had planned a benefit show at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, CA for Wednesday, May 15 and one "Fashion Police" writer, Eliza Skinner, posted the below to Facebook days before the event:
E! bought 100 tickets to our benefit, we doubt they will show up, so COME OUT.
We suspect this is an attempt to make us look weak by keeping people from buying tickets, or by showing up and creating a hostile crowd.
It's sold out online, but there will be plenty of tickets at the door if ONE HUNDRED E! EMPLOYEES don't come. Please come - we're fighting for comedy writers and cable writers in general! Plus, Bobcat Goldthwait is great!
According to the writers, a large portion of the tickets for the benefit (the proceeds of which are going to the "Fashion Police" writing staff) were reportedly bought by E! Vice President John Najarian and other E! executives, per The Hollywood Reporter.
E! president Suzanne Kolb wrote a letter to the "Fashion Police" writers on the morning of May 15, the day of the benefit show, which THR and Deadline obtained.
"I want to make it clear that E! is not anti-[Writer's Guilde Of America]," Kolb's letter reads. "The WGA has convinced you that a strike is necessary in order to gain a union contract. But history at E! has shown that not to be true. You are actually losing paychecks because of the guild's dislike of elections ... This leads me to ask you, why strike over an election if you believe the vote will be in favor of representation? Please reconsider striking over something as democratic as an election. There will be no resolution to this matter without one."
When the "Fashion Police" writers' strike started on April 17, the WGA West said in a statement, "The election the Company is calling for is a well-known stalling tactic ... By ignoring for weeks our repeated requests for negotiation of a fair deal, E! has forced us to vote with our feet."
Kolb's letter also stated: "Joan Rivers has been and remains emphatically supportive of you. And, despite what has been reported to the contrary, her company does not produce 'Fashion Police' nor set the compensation of E! Networks Productions’ writers. The personal attacks on Joan have been grossly unfair and inaccurate as the responsibility of the show lies on my shoulders, not hers.
During the strike, the "Fashion Police" writers made a Funny or Die video, joking about their boredom (and poor-dom). Check it out below: