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REPORT: WGA Takes Issue With Soap Producers For Creating "Particularly Insidious" Problem Making Writers Request Waivers For Less Pay and Work!

Courtesy/CBS

Courtesy/CBS

In a report today via Deadline, the entertainment industry news outlet, it has come to light at the WGA (Writers Guild of America) that soap producers, most notably from CBS Daytime’s: The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless appear to be in some form “bullying” their soap scribes, according to the allegations in the item.

The “particularly insidious” problem that’s “cropping up regularly on daytime TV”, according to Deadline’s sources has that the producers of the soaps are asking their writers to request waivers from the WGA to take pay cuts and to take less work.

According to Deadline: “The guild contract requires a soap to give writers one assignment a week. But writers can ask for a waiver to cut back on the workload if they have a legitimate reason, such as illness or a family emergency. Some crafty producers, however, allegedly have been gaming the system by bullying less-favored writers into requesting waivers to reduce their assignments by one or more a month, even though they actually want to continue working full time. Sources say that some writers have been forced to give up a script or two a month so that an actor or a line producer can write a show or so a new writer can be brought in at no extra cost. ”

Courtesy/CBS

They add: “The contract language governing these waivers was meant to protect writers by mandating that the request come from the writer. If it does, the contract requires the guild to grant the waiver, but if the guild determines that it originated from the company, it can refuse. The guild, however, has yet to deny such a waiver requested by a soap writer.”  Dan Wilcox,who raised the issue in his campaign for election to the WGA board of directors, called it an “unfair labor practice.  It’s a way to hire people at below the contracted minimum.”  In his campaign statement, Wilcox noted: “Over the last few years, a couple of the companies have begun using the reduced-load waivers to punish some writers and reward others. The companies tell the writers in disfavor to apply for a ‘half-deal’ waiver or be fired. Given a choice between some income and none, the writers request the waiver.”

As far the actual number of waivers requested by the writers from the different network soaps, they report:  From June 2014 through June 2015, the guild granted 23 such waivers to soap writers – 16 on CBS’ The Bold And The Beautiful, six to writers on the network’s The Young And The Restless, and one to a writer on NBC’s Days Of Our Lives.

What do you think of this situation which allegedly has writers feeling “forced” to get a waiver to continue to work or potentially lose their job?  In the contracted scene of the daytime drama, where only four remain, is it just a sign of the times with budgets so tight an effort to cut corners, the show’s are asking their writers to do so?  Is it complete and unfair business practices to have writers, who have the hardest job in the soaps,  being completely taking advantage of?  Share your thoughts below!

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chuck
Guest
chuck

It’s more Y&R I think CBS knows Phelps and Pratt are very unpopular with the Fans, I’ll be interested if we don’t see big changes coming soon…

davlestev1
Guest
davlestev1

You got it Chuck..nobody but JFP and CP while they ride the ratings waves off the backs of established scribes they’re firing or threatening with lesser knowns…Y&R WILL implode.

chuck
Guest
chuck

Exactly!! But CBS knows The fans are disliking Pratt’s Stories, even when he first came on last year he was ruffling the feathers the fans knew him from All my children and Santa Barbara. He has made Y&R for most people Unwatchable, The ratings Have gone down slightly in the past two weeks so I do see changes on the horizon !!

Lellingw
Guest
Lellingw

Really serious and really concerning. Needs to stop and producers who have Ben doing this severely reprimanded.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I can only speak for myself….I find Pratt’s writing stale and unimaginative. Stories get recycled to the point of exasperation…pulling my hair out. So, it is very possible that the “writers are forced to get waivers to continue to work”….. The writing always suffers and falls short of delivering sharp, concise story lines.
Who, among us, did not suspect Neil in Hilary’s disappearance? C’mon …..really? It would have been so much more compelling to have all clues point to Neil and then the baddie be someone else. The cards were displayed too soon.

chuck
Guest
chuck

Exactly!! The same thing happened with the killer reveal everyone knew way ahead who it was even before it was brought to light, Pratt is writing himself into a huge hole and he can’t get out of it.

Harry
Guest
Harry

CeeCee, do you also find the writing misogynistic under Pratt? I do. The whole situation with Marco and Phyllis was insidious and since she had sex with this man thinking he was someone else, that falls under the legal terminology of what constitutes rape. Then we are supposed to believe that feisty Phyllis is just going to let it all go for the sake of peace? And what Neil, who has always been the pillar of the community and the very personification of integrity, is holding Hillary hostage after doing God only knows what (there was blood found on the… Read more »

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

@Harry. Yes, Harry…we do agree. It has been, not only my contention , but also Timmm’s, if you remember, that there is no way a woman does not know her man’s body, inside-out, and vice versa. We had this very discussion for days….back and forth. Of course, it’s a soap….but, we are intelligent beings….Homo Sapiens….Sapiens, being the key word here. As far as Phyllis not sticking out her chin and giving it the old one-two ( feisty, as you so aptly describe the real Phyllis) , is because Gina Tognoni is not Phyllis. I have said this since her first… Read more »

clh
Guest
clh

Soooo not surprised at this from CBS and Y&R in particular. Lots of bullies in that soap, in front of and behind the camera.

diane
Guest
diane

All I know is it is getting to be unwatchable. I ff through 90% of the show.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

I’m very happy with DAYS!

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

It shows how crooked the CBS soaps are!

su0000
Guest
su0000

hi 4ever DAYS-
How do you think CBS/Y&R has had the highest rating for two decades/25? years and never once having another soap above them, not once (there used to be many great soaps)
the odds of that happening would be 0 .. lol
In big business there is always a way 😉

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

You’re on to something, su0000!

Didn’t CBS/Y&R/Nielsen Ratings Co. team up, create and release a survey/questionnaire regarding Y&R?

Shouldn’t such things be considered a conflict of interest? Who is in who’s pocket?

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Yeah, and it’s all Victor’s fault. LOL.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

“The Newman Ratings!”

Mo
Guest
Mo

How many did Brad Bell ask himself to get? 😉

Not nice if this is true.

su0000
Guest
su0000

ok- ( who are the ”crafty producers” ? /names also; ”WGA board of directors, called it an “unfair labor practice. It’s a way to hire people at below the contracted minimum.”” —- that ^^^ is big business at work. It is all about the money. Soap are a financial burden on daytime tv. All can bitch about it/the contract but nothing will change until new contracts are negotiated. A contract as written is the way it is. Perhaps there will be another writer strike. I doubt saying= we don’t like the contract will change anything. ””’ “The contract language governing… Read more »

Chrystie Delancey
Guest
Chrystie Delancey

Writers’ strike or not, it will never change.

I used to work in the legal department for one of these large movie studios (who also did television, hint, hint). Their contracts are all written to get as many rights from the artists yet THEY never share their intellectual property rights. It is pretty one-sided.

Chrystie Delancey
Guest
Chrystie Delancey

Oh and they would rather presume they have the rights and risk settling out of court than confirm they have the rights.

jeremy
Guest
jeremy

“Bias and racial discrimination.” Just like what Victoria Rowell said about CBS soaps

Lellingw
Guest
Lellingw

Interesting. This might have raised her case a little bit more. Racial discrimination is difficult to prove but if the network is involved in other nefarious activity, their believability goes way down.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Interesting, indeed…opens a can of worms; such as the Michael Muhney ‘story’.
There were so many versions circling around…how he made some kind of remark about Hunter King’s physical endowments? Hmmmm. In the midst of it all, Eric Braeden’s name slithered in there. Double Hmmmm.

Rapids
Guest
Rapids

I’ve never been in a union but where I live it is employment at will. No one is guaranteed a job or a certain number of hours.
There are just a handful of soaps left. It appears TPTB is telling writers to take it or leave it. The writers will probably take whatever work is left. The soap industry is in sad shape.

Lellingw
Guest
Lellingw

People don’t work well when they are afraid for their jobs and what a way to play people off of each other. And then have actors or others write the scripts. Hmm. GH execs and the producer are claiming they are tweaking the writers’ scripts. I wonder to what extent they are allowed to write?

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Why the picture of Ridge from B & B instead of the cast? Bullies in Y & R I can’t help but wonder if the actor who plays Victor Newman had a hand in this somehow?

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Hey, Nikki. You beat me to it, if you read my post above. I posted before I read yours. Well, I know neither of us is a fan of Eric/Victor. I said it jokingly, but if you say it (and I trust your opinion), it must be true, yes?

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Ahhhhhhh CeeCee I just read yours. He is a bully. I love Adam/Chelsea and Kevin/Mariah along with a few others but I cut myself down now to watching it Wednesday’s & Friday’s because I honestly can’t stand or stomach that Victor Newman or Summer. That man should have been put in jail a long time ago and I know they try to keep the soap’s with the latest trends but he’s just too much to deal with. I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t renew his contract and have it end where he finally goes to jail for life but… Read more »

Harry
Guest
Harry

Do you think that the Abbot who is behind that Pyramid Project (or whatever it’s called) which was orchestrated to bring Victor to his knees is really John Abbott?

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

@Harry. I think no one is really keen on the Paragon Project. I certainly am not sure of what it is, really. But, John Abbot would never orchestrate something so devious. John did not work that way. Unless, his apparition tells Jack what to do. So, the, it would all be in Jack’s head. A figment of his crazy imagination. Perhaps, Jack has been off his rocker all along? LOL. It is such a stupid terminology. If not Jack, then, logically, aside from Victor, the only schemer who comes to mind is Colin working with Marco. Let’s stretch it even… Read more »

Rose
Guest
Rose

With the positive ratings and awards CBS has had with B&B and Y&R seems short sighted to mess with the writing. I realize it’s a business and you have to watch overhead, but they should renegotiate financial and scheduling issues with the union. Not look for small print/loopholes in the contract, and nickel/dime the writers. And thank you CBS for keeping your soaps on the air.

Lellingw
Guest
Lellingw

The execs must be under severe pressure to keep costs down and writers are often invisible to most. Until the quality of the writing finally tanks.

su0000
Guest
su0000

hi Nikki,
EB probably holds stock in Y&R,,, LOL
He is very powerful as to what he wants.
ALL know there is no Y&R without Victor, without Victor the Newman family would fall.
Most all the stories revolve around Victor.

Yes, actors/characters are replaceable but not EB/Victor and CBS knows that fact.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Unfortunately so does he. At his age you would think he would step down & let the younger one’s have a chance. Where I come from they retire at 65. I loved Kay Chancellor & their was a time everything revolved around her, unfortunately she passed away and the show went on. Victor needs to go to jail for all the crimes he’s committed and the soap would save a ton of money by letting the bully go.

Harry
Guest
Harry

Nikki, I totally understand what you’re saying and agree with your sentiment.
However, I love Victor’s ominous forceful presence on the show.
Moreover, when he gets mad and starts railing against someone, I just have to laugh.
Can you imagine him ordering coffee at Starbucks?
‘NOW LISTEN, AND LISTEN GOOD PUNK, CAUSE I DO NOT WANT TO SAY THIS AGAIN. I WILL TAKE A CAPPUCCINO, HALF CAF, HALF DECAF WITH ENOUGH FROTH TO MAKE IT AESTHETICALLY PLEASING BUT NOT TOO MUCH AS TO GIVE ME ANOTHER MUSTACHE? GOT THAT?

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Harry OMG You made me laugh out loud. Yes I’m sure his presents is known wherever he goes. I think he figures he is Victor Newman. As I said I only watch Wed.& Fri. now but wouldn’t you know it yesterday Wed. he was on. When he walked over to Gab/Adam and called him a name I wanted so badly to be Adam for just one minute. Long enough to push him against his desk and knock a few teeth out. I have a whole new respect for Adam (who just walked away). In real life he’s no better. Someone… Read more »

Fran
Guest
Fran

The actors have / and have to take pay cuts why not the writers ect

Lellingw
Guest
Lellingw

This isn’t negotiated in their contracts, this is wage theft. Actors got a pretty good raise on SBC this year. Not sure about CBS.

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

Why are you assuming that they have not, already? I have not seen much about it, one way or the other, but it stands to reason that as the big stars were asked to take pay cuts, the writing staff (and the production staff) probably were too.

Donna Miller
Guest
Donna Miller

be glad they got a job. If they are really good , someone else will hire them. Most actors on all soaps have been pushed to recurring, taken a pay cut or like RM just quit. This is true for all shows, not sure why writers shoud be different. True in all industries. everyone I know unless working for government or own businees got pushed aside or told to cut back for cheaper people at age 55. BTW supreme court has been asked to consider these actions, but neve do. guess that is what happens when you have a job… Read more »

Barbara from Atlanta
Guest
Barbara from Atlanta

I don’t know the inner workings of a soap or the financial demands. However, as a viewer, I know the plots are UNWATCHABLE. Particularly with Y&R, it doesn’t look like the writers put much time and thought into the plots they create. Everything seems just thrown together. Often, there are glaring problems with the plots that make no sense (even by a more liberal standard that I typically apply to soaps). As for Y&R, this is not a recent development under the current writers. It has been this way for over 5 years. The recent writers are guilty of giving… Read more »

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

The pay must be high for DAYS’ writers because the show is ON FIRE!!!!!

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

So basically what they are doing would be like an employer strong arming a full time employee who is making 20 dollars an hour to take an unpaid vacation for a month, and while they are gone they hire a temp worker at 10 dollars an hour to fill in for them. Well isn’t that charming. Unions have their bad points, but if producers are doing this kind of stuff with a loophole in the contract, imagine what BS they would pull without a union in place.

Rapids
Guest
Rapids

Soap actors have taken huge cuts in salary. Otherwise they would be out of a job.

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

I have not seen much about it, but my bet is that the writers have too (in addition to this latest shenanigan).

april
Guest
april

I’d rather y & r die gracefully then continue with this schlock. I just watched a bunch of old y and r episodes on youtube. Now that was writing – Bell and Alden!

Barbara from Atlanta
Guest
Barbara from Atlanta

After 35 years plus of watching Y&R faithfully, I can’t believe that I’d ever say this but………………………………… I totally agree with you!!! The show is terrible and, sadly, has been this way for a decade. I have continued to watch through this past decade, always having a momentary hope that things would improve with the constant shifts of writers and producers. “Maybe the new ones will get it??” Alas, each time, I’ve been disappointed. The problems may have been different with each new group of writers but the end result is always the same: a disappointment. It has been NINE… Read more »

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

I stumbled across the article on Deadline the other day. It caught my eye so I read the full article. Sounds like Y&R and B&B both have problems that no one (fans) knew about. I think this is a cause for concern by fans. It reminds me of a house or building that looks beautiful on the outside but has internal structural damage that could cause the house or building to collapse unexpectedly at any moment. Imagine what it would be like if all of a sudden Y&R and B&B were off the air with no warning! That would be… Read more »

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Marlena Becomes Possessed … Again!

On Tuesday’s episode of Days of our Lives, the devil had his way with his favorite person, Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall)! In story, leave it to Marlena to save Doug (Bill Hayes) by giving herself up to Satan!

As Doug revealed himself to be Satan while in a therapy session with Marlena in her office, a shook Marlena tries to comprehend what is happening! When the devil says if Marlena won’t accept him in, she will punish Doug, he does just that.

Photo: JPI

Poor Doug is left writhing in pain and on the floor, crying out for help! When we come back to the scene Marlena is not exactly right near his body, but sort of overlooking what is happening. Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) rushes into Marlena’s office to find Doug as Marlena stares blankly. Eventually, she calls for help.

After Doug is put in a hospital room and is monitored, Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) and Tripp (Lucas Adams) can’t find anything wrong with him. Meanwhile, Julie finds Marlena at the nurses station and asks what happened with Doug during their therapy session.  Marlena flashes back to what led to Doug writing on the floor, and clearly something is way off with Marlena, because she has now become possessed.

Later, Julie sits by Doug’s hospital bed as he opens his eyes, as he tells his beloved wife, “He left me and went in to her.”  A confused Julie is left to ponder what on earth Doug could be talking about.

When Marlena comes home to John (Drake Hogestyn) – who is already concerned with Johnny (Carson Boatman) being set on making a movie of Sami’s life story which includes points on Marlena’s original possession – she tells him Doug collapsed in her office. When the two hug, Marlena slowly opens her eyes  revealing that they are glowing yellow.  Yup! We are off to the races. Marlena is now once again possessed.

So, what did you think about the scenes between Deidre Hall and Bill Hayes? Are you enjoying the revisiting of the infamous ‘possession’ storyline thus far? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives Kicks-Off Possession Storyline Revisted with ‘Doug’ Twist Cliffhanger, Followed by Fall Preview

Did the ‘Devil’ make them do it? Doug Williams  (Bill Hayes) is Satan? In what can only be described as major surprise twist on NBC’s Days of our Lives, for weeks, fans have thought they were about to embark on another dementia or Alzheimer’s storyline on the soaps with another beloved character.

However, Days head writer, Ron Carlivati ,and his writing team came up with a way to make it seem like this may be Doug’s fate only to use the long-running character as the impetus to bring the classic possession storyline back on the air some 25 years later.

It all goes down after Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) calls Marlena (Deidre Hall) to ask him to see Doug, after his MRI and other tests proved inconclusive for dementia, etc, to see if Dr. Evans can assess him.  The phone call to Marlena happened after John (Drake Hogestyn) was discussing the past, since Johnny (Carson Boatman) is ramping up to a shoot a movie on Sami’s life, that will include the time that Sami walked in on John and Marlena having sex, which caused Sami to act out for years and years.

 

However, and this is key, John tells Marlena that moment in time also left her alone and vulnerable to the darkest time in her life – alluding to when she became possessed by the devil – and Marlena was clearly having difficulty admitting that or going down that road of remembrance, when the phone call from Kayla saved her from digging deeper into the past.  Well now, John and Marlena may never have that conversation as she is primed to once again become possessed.

Meanwhile, Johnny is reading Will’s script for the Sami movie, and is shocked to read in it that Marlena was once possessed by the devil, as John takes out a dusty box with his Father John collar, a bible, and a news clipping of Marlena being possessed.  John is feeling that this movie will bring bad things on to all those he loves, especially Doc, and he looks to be right!

Now at her office with Doug, he admits he knows something is wrong.  He acts out and does strange things and does not know why.  Marlena brings up why Doug locked Julie (Susan Seaforth Hayes) in a freezer by accident. Doug gets adamant saying: “That was no accident. I locked that bitch in there on purpose.”  Marlena is shocked at his word and tone.  Then as Doug laughs, he says, “I’m not Doug.”  Next thing you know, the lowered voice of Satan comes out of Doug’s mouth and he tells Doc, “It’s been over 25 years Marlena. But did you really think I wouldn’t come back for you?” End of episode.  Great cliffhanger!

Now, check out the fall preview released following the airing of Friday’s episode by NBC below, which teases more demonic moments on Days. Then let us know in the comment section, what you thought of the ‘Doug’ twist as the possession storyline begins?

Plus, make sure to cast your vote in ‘Michael’s Poll’ of the week on the revisiting of this classic tale now in 2021 below the preview.

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on the Creation, Scenes & Cast of ‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’

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