Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor
UPDATE, 12:25 PM: The protest just wrapped up around its scheduled 12:30 PM target. Among the speakers was writer Bryan Cook, who addressed the picketers that reached about 150 in number and generated notice from passersby on foot and in cars along Wilshire Boulevard. He touched on why the writers are seeking union representation. “We’ve worked hard to make Fashion Police one of E!’s top-rated shows, and we don’t even get health care benefits,” he said. “It can be hard to get how hard this work is. It’s not like were working in a coal mine — you can’t get black lung from writing jokes, but rest assured, E! will try to find a way.” Said fellow writer Ed Rice to Deadline as the event was breaking up: “I don’t know what’s specifically next on our part. To a certain extent, its a stand-off — the ball’s really in their court. What we want is a phone call from the network to our representative at the guild saying they accept them as representation and would like to offer us a guild contract. That’s the only next step from the network we will accept.”
PREVIOUS, 11:43 AM: Striking writers from the Joan Rivers-hosted series Fashion Police are protesting today in front of E!‘s headquarters on the Miracle Mile in LA. Among the chants overheard from the 100-plus on the scene holding signs: “We’re still poor, you’re still rich, give us back our paycheck, bitch” and the Rivers-mimicking “What am I, chopped liver?” and “Can we talk?” The WGA-sponsored action was organized after the scribes filed suit in April with the state claiming the show and E! (and later Rivers’ production company) ran afoul of California law by not compensating writers for regular and overtime hours. They are asking for $1M-plus in back wages.