Supporters of talk show host Ellen Degeneres have defended her decision to cross the striking Hollywood picket line last week. The lesbian TV star came under fire for not joining protesters like chat show hosts Dave Letterman or Jay Leno in order to film her series, Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her representative defended her actions on the grounds that she is the host of a syndicated show, not a network-owned program. A friend says, "Unlike Letterman or Leno, those shows continue to deliver new episodes. But the difference is, they never employed the Writers Guild members DeGeneres did. " A representative for DeGeneres says, "Ellen has a contract (to provide the show) as a host and a producer. "Ellen is competing with other first-run syndicated shows that are delivering original programing like ‘Dr. Phil,’ ‘Regis and Kelly’ and ‘Oprah’ during the competitive November sweeps period." But the Writers Guild East slammed DeGeneres for her actions, releasing a statement that reads, "Ellen’s peers who host comedy/variety shows have chosen to support the writers and help them get a fair contract, Ellen has not. Ellen said she loves and supports her writers, but her actions prove otherwise . . 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."