WGA Just Says No To Osbournes

Biting off bat heads aside as Ozzy Osbourne is wont to do, the Writers Guild of America has sent a letter to its membership and top talent agencies which categorically forbids them from working on the new cable show featuring Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Variety said today.

The reason.

They don’t like bats heads being turned into lunch.

No, they actually don’t think FremantleMedia North America, which is producing the Osbournes’ show, should be allowed to work with WGA writers without a contract.

“Any members who perform writing services on that show do so at their own peril as they will be violating WGA Working Rule 8 and could be fined up to 100% of their compensation for that work,” the joint letter from WGA West and WGA East said.

WGA execs said the guild had been trying to negotiate a WGA contract for the Osbournes show but were recently told by a Fremantle exec that the talks were over. Fremantle, on the other hand, said in a statement that it was the WGA that broke off the talks, and then “implemented their usual mendacious strategy of feeding misleading and erroneous information to the press.”

The joint letter also referenced the WGA’s fight with multi-hyphenate Tyler Perry over WGA coverage for the Perry-produced TBS sitcoms “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” (Daily Variety, Oct. 3), reminding members that they are not allowed to work on those shows.

“Denying Fremantle and Tyler Perry members of the Writers Guilds East and West may convince them that they will be unable to produce professional quality entertainment content and that they will see the wisdom and creative advantages of signing a WGA contract,” the letter said.