"Comedian" Ellen DeGeneres has become the Hollywood writers' strike's first celebrity scab.
The Independent reported that the television host has found she is no longer welcome on the streets of New York because of her decision to keep recording – and writing – her daytime chat show.
After several days of public drubbing by her union – the Writers Guild of America – DeGeneres has announced she won't be taping her show in New York next week as planned, but will stay in Los Angeles and record in the entertainment-industry suburb of Burbank, where the union is less militant and has yet to voice any objection.
DeGeneres took just one day off to show her "solidarity" with her writing staff, then crossed the picket lines and went back to work.
She claims she has broken no strike rules.
"Personally, it's heartbreaking. I love my writers; we're a family," she whined. "It's really hard to have to deal with where they are and where I am because I'm kinda caught in the middle."
The Writers Guild has contrasted the way she has, in their view, failed to stand by her writing staff and the way she broke down on air a month ago over a tug-of-war she had with a pet adoption agency over a stray dog.
"We find it sad that Ellen spent an entire week crying and fighting for a dog that she gave away, yet she couldn't even stand by writers for more than one day – writers who have helped make her extremely successful," the Guild said.
Michael Winship, the head of the Guild's East Coast branch, said DeGeneres should "look to her conscience".