WGA: 'Payne' writers were fired for organizing


Four writers involved with a WGA organizing effort at writer-director-producer Tyler Perry's cable TV show "House of Payne" have been fired.

The company says they were fired for cause, but the union said Thursday that they were dismissed because they were involved in the organizing effort.

The guild claims that 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 contract with Perry's production company, House of Payne. No contract has been signed.

Perry's attorney, Matt Johnson, said that the four were fired because of poor work performance. Griffin, Moore, Brown-Jackson and Ferrell had worked on more than 100 episodes of Perry's TBS series, now syndicated on Fox. The three remaining writers were asked to stay on, and two did.

The WGA has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the four were fired unjustly and that Payne's company bargained in bad faith. (partialdiff)