'Payne,' 'Browns' writers reach WGA deal

NAACP played integral role in closing agreement

Writers on Tyler Perry's "House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns" received an early Thanksgiving treat.

The WGA and Perry announced Wednesday an agreement was reached in the five-month negotiations over having the guild rep writers on the two shows.

Details of the agreement were not immediately released. It was the last outstanding union agreement for Perry and his studio, which had previously brokered deals with IATSE, SAG, DGA and others.

According to a statement, the NAACP Hollywood Bureau and its executive director Vic Bulluck played an integral part in the two sides reaching a deal.

"We are pleased to have come to a resolution with the WGA and thank the NAACP for their support during negotiations," Perry said. "We look forward to many years working with the talented writers who are members of the Guild."

Perry added that he was eager to continue working with the WGA to "dramatically increase the number of minority writers working in Hollywood."

In October, the WGA announced that four writers involved with an organizing effort for the showrunner's programs were fired. The guild claimed the problems began in April when the writers -- Kellie Griffin, Christopher Moore, Teri Brown-Jackson and Lamont Ferrell -- were among seven scribes seeking to negotiate a first WGA contact with Perry's production company, which is also called House of Payne. The agreement would give the scribes health-care benefits, pensions and residuals.

"At a time when true independent producers like Mr. Perry are rare in this business, we congratulate him on his success and welcome his decision to become signatory to a WGA contract," said WGA West president Patric Verrone, who also thanks the NAACP and its leaders for their intervention.

"The NAACP is a staunch advocate for workers rights, and for nearly 100 years has fought for greater minority representation and inclusion in Hollywood," said NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous. "We recognize the unique and important influence writers have in our society. The NAACP will continue to work with the WGA to make sure their rights are protected and that all the networks and studios provide greater opportunity for minority writers."
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