The writers of Joan Rivers' (mostly hilarious) E! show Fashion Police have been on strike for over a year, and in this week's LA Weekly, writer Danielle Paquette goes deeper into why, while also examining some of the lives left behind.
Last February, the Fashion Police writing staff—two full-timers and a host of part-time writers—informed Rivers that they wanted to join the Writers Guild of America because their pay of $610 a week was far less than the ~$3,000 per week salary pulled in by union members. When Rivers, in what the writers describe as a violent fit, said that—unlike Joel McHale or Chelsea Handler—she would not recommend to E! that they allow her writers to unionize, they decided to walk out.
Those writers are still striking, but Rivers has replenished her staff with scabs. In the piece, the ex-writers interviewed for the story speak almost fondly of Rivers' work ethic but less so of the work environment she cultivates, and her steadfastness has left one ex-writer pondering whether to sell his house to replenish his savings and another writing a play for a Princess Cruise.
River is an iconoclast, and a beloved one at that, but in this instance she's breaking down the wrong institution.
[image via Getty]