Writer/actor/director/producer Tyler Perry knows what's best for his writers. And what's best for them, apparently, is to churn out sitcom scripts without union protection or representation. The Writers' Guild of America West has filed a complaint against Perry's production company for unfair labor practices, claiming four writers on his TBS sitcom, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, were shitcanned for trying to join the union.
Jeff Hermanson, an assistant executive director for the Writers Guild, said the four writers — Kellie Griffin, Christopher Moore, Teri Brown-Jackson and Lamont Ferrell — had sought a union contract because they felt they were underpaid and lacked benefits. Matt Johnson, a Los Angeles lawyer representing Mr. Perry, above, said the firing of the writers was related to “the quality of their work.” The writers are planning to picket this weekend at the opening of Tyler Perry Studios, a 28-acre production complex outside Atlanta.[NYT] Fired from a TBS sitcom over the "quality of their work"? Come on, guy. Even an entertainment lawyer can't get that one out with a straight face.