Over the weekend, a hundred or so TV writers wrote an open letter to Tyler Perry asking why his show House of Payne was the only scripted TV program on television without a contract guaranteeing residuals or health coverage for the writers. Four of those writers say they were fired for union organizing and picketed the opening of Perry’s new studio in Atlanta on Saturday night. Among those who attended:
Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Cicely Tyson, Louis Gossett Jr, Holly Robinson Peete, Tracey Edmonds, music mogul L.A. Reid, singer John Legend, baseball legends Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. Mary J. Blige, Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight.
Criticism of Perry continued today, when an actress on his show posted another angry letter on the WGA’s website, and Nikki Finke still seems to be the only one reporting on it. I don’t have much to add, this is just something I want you to keep in mind a month from now when the big media outlets pick up on it and Oprah has him on her show so she can act all indignant as if it’s the first time she’s heard. Oprah cures injustice! everyone will say, and they’ll let her make another big speech at the next awards show. But Oprah is like Mr. Scrooge, she kicks pigeons when no one’s looking and she hates babies, and I heard she visits the animal shelter every six weeks to watch the puppies die.