DeGeneres won't take Big Apple bite



UPDATED 9:41 p.m. PT Nov. 13, 2007

Ellen DeGeneres has canceled plans to tape her syndicated daytime talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," in New York next week as previously planned, her publicist confirmed Tuesday. DeGeneres will instead tape the show out of her Burbank-based studio.

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) issued this statement Tuesday from WGAE President Michael Winship in response to the news that DeGeneres has decided not tape her shows on Nov. 19 and 20:

"We're delighted that Ellen DeGeneres has decided not to come to New York to tape her program. She knows that the Writers Guild East would have been there to protest her lack of solidarity, not only with her Guild writing staff but all the striking members of the Writers Guild, of which she is a member. We will be even more delighted if she does not cross the Guild picket lines at the NBC Studios in Burbank, where her show usually is produced."

On Friday, the WGA East attacked DeGeneres, accusing her of violating strike rules and saying she was unwelcome in New York. The letter by WGAE prompted responses by both AFTRA and show producer Telepictures, who defended the performer's decision to go back to work.

DeGeneres skipped work Nov. 5, the first day of the strike, in support of her writers but returned to work Tuesday, paying them a tribute on her show that day.

The WGAE on Friday said DeGeneres wouldn't be welcome in the Big Apple during Thanksgiving week to tape her show, expressing its "extreme disappointment" in the host, a WGA and AFTRA member.

That prompted AFTRA to respond that DeGeneres is legally required to return to work under the no-strike clause of the AFTRA Network TV Code.

For its part, Telepictures responded that "Ellen" is syndicated and therefore is under contract to continue delivering original episodes to the stations, unlike network-owned and -controlled late-night talk shows.