WGA Expels and Fines 'Fashion Police' Writer for Writing During Strike

10:51 AM PST 10/14/2013 by Jonathan Handel
Jessica Chou

The decision takes effect immediately.

The board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, West has voted to expel Larry Amoros, a WGAW member, for providing "scab" writing services to E! Network's Fashion Police during a Guild-sanctioned strike, the WGAW said Monday. The board also levied a fine against Amoros totaling approximately $14,000.

Under the guild rules, "The writing or submitting of a 'scab script' to a producer or employer shall be conclusively deemed conduct prejudicial to the welfare of the Guild. For the purpose of this provision, 'scab scripts' are defined to include (complete or partial) without limitation 'literary material,' stories (including springboards), treatments, teleplays, radio scripts, or screenplays written on order or request of or submitted to a producer, production company, network, individual station, cable TV or cassette company or the like as to which the Guild is on strike at the time of the writing or submission."

The rules provide for punishment "by expulsion, by suspension, by a fine, or, by a combination of the foregoing."

On April 17, 2013, Fashion Police writers walked off the job to protest E!'s alleged unfair labor practices and to gain a WGA contract. The strike was sanctioned by the WGAW and all members were notified that they were prohibited from writing for the show until E! agreed to cover the writers under a Guild contract.

The decision to expel and fine Amoros comes a week after the WGA East and Joan Rivers resolved charges brought by the WGAE against Rivers for allegedly writing the show.

A guild statement said, "Having received credible information that Mr. Amoros, a Guild member since 1993, was violating the work stoppage order, the WGAW board brought disciplinary charges against him." A trial committee composed of WGAW members conducted a hearing on Sept. 30. After examining the evidence the committee found that Mr. Amoros had committed what the guild called "egregious" violations of the WGAW Constitution and working rules including continuing to write on a struck show, receiving payment for his services, and failing to cooperate with the Guild's investigation.

Amoros did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The trial committee recommended that the Board expel and fine Amoros. On October 11 the WGAW board voted unanimously to approve the recommendations of the trial committee.

Under federal labor law, fines of this sort are enforceable in court even after a member is expelled or resigns.

The decision takes effect immediately.

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