For a labor dispute in which the unionization of TV writers is in dispute, the Writers Guild of America sure is busy already, seemingly involved in the only actual decisions regarding E!’s Fashion Police with Joan Rivers.
On Monday, the WGA announced it had expelled scribe Larry Amoros from the guild and fined him $14,000, following an investigation into whether Amoros had defied a writers strike against the E! snark show. The writers have been on strike since April, demanding back pay and benefits, while E! refuses to recognize them as part of the WGA and claims it won’t do so until the writers hold another vote to formally join the Guild. Just last week, Joan Rivers herself settled a separate argument with the WGA over her continuing to write monologues and jokes in advance for the series as she has continued to host it over the past six months.
Amoros, however, argues the WGA couldn’t kick him out of the union — he already had resigned last month and claims he only paid WGA dues once in the past 15 years.
“How can the WGA throw me out of a club, I am not a member of?” Amoros said in a statement provided to The Comic’s Comic through his media representative, Ed Romanoff. “Next week, I look forward to being expelled from the NFL for not being a football player.”
Amoros said he stopped being an active WGA member in 1998, “with the exception of a nominal dues payment three years ago,” and hasn’t received Guild benefits or participated in Guild activities in that time. He further said he submitted a resignation letter to WGA President Chris Keyser before the Guild voted Sept. 30 to kick him out, and didn’t have to walk off the job when his colleagues did on April 17.
“I didn’t attend the trial because I am allergic to kangaroos,” Amoros said. “The purpose is transparent — throw the striking writers, who have been out of work for more than six months, a bone, Amoros said. “I’m saddened that my talented colleagues are being used as pawns by the WGA West leadership in its war against E! and that this never ending folly has cost them work and deprived people of their talent and humor. The WGA West has been carrying on like this for months and it seems that all it has done is wasted time, money cost writers work, created ill-will.”
Amoros has a connection with Joan Rivers dating back more than two decades. This 1989 newspaper profile on Larry Amoros mentions his upcoming appearance on her not-yet infamous talk show. He also appeared in her 2010 documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, and was listed as a co-producer on Rivers’s 2012 stand-up special, Don’t Start With Me.
And here Amoros was on Comedy Central’s The A-List back in the day.