‘Biggest Loser’ Strike Update: Production To Resume On Monday With Replacements

EXCLUSIVE… 3RD UPDATE FRIDAY 11PM: It’s war! I hear that The Biggest Loser producers, Shine Group’s Reveille and JD Roth’s and Todd Nelson’s Eyeworks-owned 3 Ball Prods., are planning to resume production on the weight-loss reality series on Monday morning after a week-long shutdown because of the IATSE-backed strike by crew members. But the restart of filming is not the result of an agreement with IATSE. I hear the producers are bringing in replacements and the show will continue to be non-union. (In a letter sent to the crew members on Tuesday, the full text of which is displayed in the 2nd Updatedbelow, the producers threaten striking crew members that their jobs may be lost if they hire permanent replacements.) I hear that no Biggest Loser crew members are expected to cross the picket line on Monday. “Should be ugly,” one insider says. Meanwhile, I hear that the Biggest Loser employees who are striking to go union have received support from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, a voluntary federation of 57 national and international unions, which has issued a “Do Not Patronize” sanction against the Biggest Loser producers. The companies’ put on AFL-CIO “Do Not Patronize” list “have been identified as unfair employers and adversaries of the labor movement, and all trade unionists and friends of organized labor are urged not to patronize those businesses,” according to the organization’s Web site.

EXCLUSIVE… 2ND UPDATE THURSDAY 4PM: It’s Day 3 of IATSE’s strike against veteran NBC reality series The Biggest Loser and the production companies behind it, mainly Reveille Prods. and 3 Ball Prods. As we first reported, the strike started on Monday night when the show’s crew walked off the set. The picketing, which started yesterday at the production location aka The Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains, spread today to the Redondo Beach offices of 3 Ball where the show is being edited. Production on the series’s upcoming 11th season continues to be halted. Meanwhile, the producers have sent a stern Facts About a Strike letter to the crew, stressing that they may hire permanent replacements for the striking members. (letter posted below.) The strike is taking a toll on the striking employees. “Most of the crew is bummed, but determined,” one insider said. “Many have been on the show for 4 or 5 seasons. They are sticking together, many on the picket lines.”

The main issue for the crew is that, because Biggest Loser has no deal with IATSE, the crew members can’t accrue their union days to qualify for health and pension benefits while working on the show. Since Biggest Loser is a reality series on an atypical schedule as it films 4 to 5 days a week from September to March, many crew members have to leave for a period of time so they can get their IA days on other shows while they would rather stay on Biggest Loser full-time and make their union days there. The Biggest Loser crew usually consists of 90-100 people, 40 of whom are IA members. I hear the show adheres to union rules in terms of work schedule and that crew rates are substantially above union minimum. But word is that there has not been a crew raise since season 6. That has coincided with the current economic downturn, and the ratings for the long-running show have begun to trend downwards lately. But the raise freeze has left employees a little frustrated as they get to shoot many paid product placement segments on the show. “The crew wonders where all that money goes,” one person said. And while the producers explain in the letter why they don’t want the show to go union, a move that would allow crew members to get their health benefits through IATSE, they don’t offer company-based health benefits as an alternative with the argument that they pay above union rates, so crew members should be able to afford their own health care. (which most of them can’t)

Will the strike find a successful resolution before the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday? It’s hard to say because complicating the things is a possible negotiating tactic by IATSE which has been in separate negotiations with Reveille for the company’s new Paula Abdul reality show Live to Dance on CBS. Word is that the union has pulled that negotiating team and are trying to leverage all Reveille/Shine shows to go union. I hear that has pissed Biggest Loser union members off to no end because none of them want their jobs to be a negotiating pawn. Word is that ultimately IATSE may do a separate deal for The Biggest Loser but the back-and-forth has led to further delays. IATSE first talked with the Biggest Loser producers about a deal in Season 4 when the show signed with the DGA but those talks went nowhere.

November 9, 2010

FACTS ABOUT A STRIKE

We understand that the IATSE is trying to call some of our employees out on strike. Before you decide what to do, think about the following factual answers to typical questions about strikes:

1.      IF EMPLOYEES GO OUT ON STRIKE, WILL THEY CONTINUE TO GET PAID?
Striking employees aren’t working so they don’t get paid for the time they are striking.. The Company will not pay wages during a strike and neither will the union.
2.      CAN EMPLOYEES     COLLECT UNEMPLOYMENT   COMPENSA TION DURING A STRIKE?
No. California will not pay unemployment compensation to strikers out of work because of a strike.
3.      IF THE UNION CALLS A STRIKE, CAN THE COMPANY CONTINUE TO OPERATE?
Yes. The Company can and will continue to operate during a strike with employees who want to work and if necessary with permanent replacements (see next Q and A).
4.      COULD I BE REPLACED IF THE UNION CALLS A STRIKE?
Yes. Under the law, if the union calls a strike to try to force the Company to agree to the union’s demands (called an “economic strike”), the Company may replace the strikers with permanent replacements. If you strike and are permanently replaced, you have no right to be reinstated to your old job until vacancies become available and you are reinstated from a preferential hiring list.
5.      WHY IS THE COMPANY OPPOSED TO THIS UNION?
The threat of strikes is a major reason the Company is opposed to this union. We also don’t see why you should have to pay union dues, fees, fines and assessments in order to work here. Some of our employees have worked for the Company for years. We strongly prefer to solve problems directly with our employees, without the involvement of a union with its own agenda.
If you would like more information about your rights or the rules governing this situation, please contact the Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board, telephone (213) 894-5200 or (310) 235-7352 or go to www.nlrb.gov.

1ST UPDATE WEDNESDAY PM: IATSE has put out this statement confirming my story that it is on strike against The Biggest Loser. The relationship between the Hollywood guilds and reality shows has been very problematic.

Los Angeles – The IATSE has confirmed that it is on strike against the reality series, “The Biggest Loser,” and its production entities, Reveille Productions, 25/7 Productions and 3 Ball Productions.  This top rated show for NBC is now filming its tenth season.  The work action follows a vote by 100% of the production crew members to support the IA.  AFTRA and DGA already have agreements with the production.

IA International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “This is a top-rated prime-time television show, and the crew remains unified.  The strike is the result of a unanimous decision by members of the production crew that they get a contract similar to others covering these types of productions, and we are resolute in getting it for them.”

EXCLUSIVE TUESDAY 7PM: Production on NBC’s veteran reality series The Biggest Loser has been put on hold following a walkout by the show’s crew in an effort to unionize. I hear that representatives from IATSE, the union that represents most film and TV crew members, showed up on the set of The Biggest Loser last night and led the crew off the set. As a result, filming on the show was suspended. The Biggest Loser also didn’t shoot today, while representatives from IATSE and Reveille, which produces the series with 3 Ball Prods., have been discussing a potential agreement. There have been rumblings that the walkout was the culmination of ongoing efforts by the Biggest Loser crew to go union but show insiders tell me that the producers were not aware of such attempts and were surprised by the labor action last night. I’ll be updating the story as it evolves.

Comments (320)

  • I hear their biggest gripe was fighting with the contestants at the craft service table for the last donut.

    I’ll be here all weeks, folks.

    Comment by Randy — Tuesday November 9, 2010 @ 7:30pm PST  
    • Corny, yes, but it made me laugh!

      Comment by Studio Stooge — Tuesday November 9, 2010 @ 9:33pm PST  
    • That was classic, man! Hahaha….

      Comment by TicTac4Dinner — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 5:28pm PST  
  • Good luck, crew!

    I hope they get the basic benefits all workers deserve.

    Comment by Michelle T — Tuesday November 9, 2010 @ 7:31pm PST  
    • Amen to that! The greed is mind-boggling!!

      Comment by Dominic Testa — Tuesday November 9, 2010 @ 9:31pm PST  
      • Greed? How do we know they’ve been greedy? Maybe they just don’t want to deal with a union, who are showing more and more their greed that all they care about is increasing their numbers for more union dues and more influence in politics.

        Comment by Kirsten — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 6:35am PST  
        • The Biggest Loser franchise is a multi million dollar money maker. This is ALL about greed, and keeping the unions away from this show and others, also motivated by greed.

          Comment by insider11 — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 7:27am PST  
          • Greed? I have friends who work this show and it’s the sweetest gig they’ve ever had, wish I had it – paid well over scale, haven’t had to look for a job in years, make enough to not have to day play on hiatus, bought their houses on this show, putting their kids through school, socking it away for their own retirement and happy with the insurance they have. And now for the first time in a long time, the nice life they enjoy is jeopardized by this union shakedown. Good work IATSE, really looking out for the workers. btw, a real stretch to call the work stoppage a “unanimous decision”

            Comment by CamOp — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 12:12am PST  
          • What is greed?

            Comment by Brad — Friday November 12, 2010 @ 12:10pm PST  
          • That’s great that your friend is so successful. I’m sure he’s really ‘socking it away’. Who are you kidding!?!?! A wife and 2 kids, putting them through school? Private school? Break it down… unless wifee is working… the kids’ school is 20k (minimum), family health insurance 1,200/mth (min)… Mortgage? 3,500 (min), cars, babysitters, sushi and a vacation every other year?!?! Bullshit he’s making 250!!!! His family is either helping him or he’s dealing drugs on the side. He’s the ‘middle class’ that DOESN’T EXIST! He’s the perfect example of why this SHOULD HAPPEN! This is NOT about your friend!!!! This is about ALL WORKERS IN REALITY TV (and the nation)!!! HELLLLLOOOOOO!!!!!

            Comment by Yes, CamOp... Greed — Wednesday November 17, 2010 @ 10:31am PST  
        • without unions, we’d all be working in unsafe environments, there’d still be child labor, and you wouldn’t have time off or weekends ever. Go look at a factory in China and see where you’d be without unions in this country who have fought for workers rights over the years.

          Comment by cookmeyer1970 — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:07am PST  
          • Yes, I’m sure the work conditions at Biggest Loser are such that a union is absolutely necessary; what, with all that child labor going on, and the danger of being around obese people who might fall on or eat you.

            Unions these days are nothing more than a redistributive blight on business.

            Fire them all and hire people interested in and happy to be employed on something as danger-free as a reality show.

            Comment by Roger Cotton — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:27am PST  
          • Unions are outdated, we have laws to stop all the crap you say would happen. The auto unions get profit share now, not the people the UNIONS, they make a profit, which isnt suppose to happen. Unions put a strangle hold on workers, they tell them how much they can get paid, and if you are a hard worker, the guy with more time in can be a bum, moron worker, will be promoted above you. Unions are not needed in to todays work force.

            Comment by Jack — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:55am PST  
          • Do you ever wonder *why* those jobs are in China? Because they don’t have Unions and stupid overarching regulations to deal with.

            Yes, Unions improved working conditions. 50+ years ago, back when they cared about the individual worker. What have they done lately? Oh yeah, destroyed the American work ethic. Large Unions like SEIU, UAW, and IATSE only care about leeching off the work of independent entrepeneurs these days because they can’t create jobs on their own.

            Here’s hoping TBL drops those workers and starts with a new crew. With an unemployment rate of 10.0%+ there should be some other people willing to take up the slack.

            Comment by Diego — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 9:01am PST  
          • We in China thank America union for sending so much jobs to our country. Without America union we would not have so many jobs. Please America, support China, support your unions. China will be dominate power shortly and America will no longer tell China what to do. America union drive jobs to China and for that we, all Chinese, thank America.

            Comment by Wing Chun Sam — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 9:03am PST  
          • Unions fought for when there were no labor laws. Now that we have tons of labor laws, unions are obsolete.

            Comment by realist — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 9:39am PST  
          • That’s interesting considering that labor unions are dead common in communist countries. In fact It’s the top leadership of labor unions that are dead set on pushing the United States into socialism/communism.So comrade worker….you just might get your wish with Obama working his magic in the White House.
            As for safety on the job, thank the evil insurance companies that refuse to indemnify unsafe and inefficient liable companies.
            The advantage of unions is something in the past that is irrelevant today much like using leeches to cure illness.

            Comment by El Chupa Cabra — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 9:45am PST  
          • Yes, unions performed a great service in the past. However, we now have federal and local laws to protect workers from unsafe work environments. Unions today have become just another set of corporations out to make a buck. And while I really dislike today’s unions, I will let the free market decide whether unions will stay around or disappear.

            The fastest way to lose out in a free market is to get too greedy.

            Comment by Matt — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 9:50am PST  
          • Unions are by no means obsolete. Yes, we have laws to curb some corporate excesses, but these laws have constantly been eroded in the name of deregulation and the so-called free market. While they have lost a good degree of power, unions do keep a check on the constant chipping away at the laws they helped institute. Also, they represent workers when it comes time to renegotiate contracts. If unions didn’t exist, who goes to bat for the workers when contract time comes around? Who’s going to protect workers from drastic pay cuts, elimination of health benefits, longer hours with no overtime? Unions at least prevent corporations from instantly eradicating worker protections, which they would most certainly do if there was no one there to push back.

            Unions have problems, just like any other human organization. But this constant drumbeat that they’re the epitome of evil or completely useless smacks of hyperbole.

            Comment by sd — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 12:11pm PST  
          • Obama never misses a chance to compare (unfavorably to America) the chinese infrastructure with the american counterpart, but never denounces the gruesome labor conditions in that workers’ paradise. On the other side we got easily accustomed to buy cheap electronic appliances because of this.

            Comment by Dr. sipmac — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:11pm PST  
          • Unions didn’t stop child labor, that was government regulations and the American Humane Society. We have OSHA now for the work place. The unions have outlived their purpose.

            Comment by louise henning — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 7:56am PST  
          • Unions and corporations form a check-and-balance relationship. Without unions to stand up for the rights of the workers, not only might labor laws be repealed, but profits made on the backs of the workers would go to the corporate executives, who would then cut into health benefits, salaries, retirement, etc. of the workers. Unions are IMPORTANT to keeping things fair in the working world.

            Comment by WTFisGoodTVComingTo? — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 10:27pm PST  
          • Tell it, Man!

            Comment by MBActress — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 8:37pm PST  
          • Not true. There is a Minimum wage law and your thinking is old-thinking. There was a time for the Union, but now that we have FAIR labor laws, we have no need to be controlled by these corrupt Unions. Ridiculous to think we’d go back to putting under-aged teens to work. This is the propaganda these Unions have been putting out for years. It’s nonsense.

            Comment by Tom K. — Monday November 15, 2010 @ 10:31am PST  
        • I.A.T.S.E. has understood the economy today and when the writers, directors, and actors, did not sign agreements causing a production shut down last year, I.A.T.S.E. signed the agreement 6 months ahead of the previous contracts expiration.

          Comment by steve — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:09am PST  
        • It might also be worth pointing out, the crew does not individually make 2 million dollars and episode and then threaten the livelihood of the rest of the crew by trashing hotel rooms. So lets not factor in greed when discussing the basic protection of the union. And might I add, I am not a member of I.A.T.S.E.

          Comment by steve — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:13am PST  
        • It’s about health and pension benefits for the crew working on the show. Biggest Loser is a show about improving people’s health. Why are the crew not given the opportunity for health benefits

          Comment by mom of 3 — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 10:46am PST  
        • As you may have read, many of the crew are already union members and work Biggest Loser to fill in time between other shows that qualify them for pension and health insurance.
          The union is not trying to swell it’s rank and file.
          The shows producers are already willing to sign contracts with the DGA and Aftra, both are unions.
          IATSE represents guys who swing hammers, drive trucks and move lights around.
          3Ball and Reveille are behind some of the biggest reality shows out there.
          The IATSE offers various levels of contract for productions of all sizes, if a company is working low budget the union is not there to put them out of business but to help those working maintain a certain quality of life.
          The workers in this world need to remember that unions helped create the 40 hour work week (most tv shows work 60 hour avg.) and a solid middle class.

          Comment by chris Giammalvo — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 5:45pm PST  
        • What is greed? Why is it that only businesses who make a profit are considered greedy and not the one’s who seek to confiscate that wealth. If greed exists, it is applied equally to unions.

          Comment by Brad — Friday November 12, 2010 @ 12:09pm PST  
          • “confiscate the wealth”

            well, when you put it that way… but in reality, that’s not what this is about. It’s about fair working conditions and these workers have every right to try and secure that for themselves.

            Comment by cookmeyer1970 — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 6:40am PST  
      • I bet the crew makes 6 figures a year – yet still complaining. I wouldn’t mind making 6 figures to clean a lens!

        Comment by bob — Sunday November 14, 2010 @ 8:52am PST  
        • If you think TV crews make that much, in reality TV especially, you’re sorely mistaken

          Comment by Anon — Sunday November 14, 2010 @ 3:02pm PST  
    • i hope they fire the crew and hire a new one. they originally agreed to work at a compensation level. if that agreement was not good enough they should have individual bargained for more.

      Comment by G — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 9:32am PST  
      • We tried that for years.

        Comment by anon — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 5:33pm PST  
      • Try asking for a raise on deaf ears season after season after season. If the execs in charge didn’t want to skim so much off the top, this may not have happened. Take care of your crew and your crew will take care of you.

        Comment by Anonymous — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 6:36pm PST  
        • crew was taken care of from what i hear. One of the greatest jobs in TV. work for more than ten months and you don’t have to go chase other jobs. Look like someone looked a gift horse in the mouth. Greed from the crew. If they were that unhappy they should have left for a union gig. Apparently they are not that smart. Shocking!

          Comment by younion — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 9:47pm PST  
          • I love that now 10 months a year is a good thing. Remember before reality TV when TV jobs used to be more than 6 weeks at a time for low pay and no overtime. Reality TV and the WGA refusing to support reality TV writers caused all of this.

            Comment by Mike — Sunday November 14, 2010 @ 9:40am PST  
      • that was tried year after year,…trust me!

        Comment by Anon — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:00pm PST  
      • Are you saying that because the workers didn’t negotiate for higher salaries and benefits at the beginning of the show, they don’t get a piece of the extra profit that the show brings in? That hard work doesn’t matter as much as negotiating skills? What kind of an asshole are you?

        Comment by WTFisGoodTVComingTo? — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 10:31pm PST  
    • GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU THAT ARE STRIKING AND YOUR SUPPORTERS. WE NEED MORE UNION JOBS HERE IN US, MOST OF THEM WENT AWAY WITH BUSH

      Comment by shirley — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 9:16pm PST  
  • Good luck to the crew – they deserve to be unionized on this show.

    Comment by lukeandlaura — Tuesday November 9, 2010 @ 9:36pm PST  
  • The Biggest Loser brand brings in 100′s of millions of dollars. I hope the union recognizes the blood, sweat, and tears of this crew. I hope they get the benefits and pay they deserve and that the douche-tastic talentless hacks AKA 3 Ball is forced to pay up. The true talent behind that company left years ago – and they are now Tijuana – Troy Searer and John Foy.

    Comment by KOL — Tuesday November 9, 2010 @ 10:49pm PST  
    • You have to be on drugs if you think Troy and Jon were ever the force behind anything. 3Ball keeps producing hits, but what is Tijuana making? Come on!

      Comment by Dino — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:30am PST  
    • sounds like a post from Tijuana….they got a lot going on….not.

      Comment by koldouche — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 9:10am PST  
      • 3 Ball seems to get kicked off a lot of shows . . . nice job they did on that Bravo fashion show – oh that’s right they don’t produce it anymore. KICKED OFF But that Dad Camp is a hit oh I mean was oh I mean not at all it didn’t get picked up. BTW – How anyone can think it is unfair that a crew wants benefits and to be paid for their long hours . . . how dare they!?!?!?

        Comment by URMOM — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 11:44am PST  
        • Your post is so intelligent. You must work for TJ. What do they do again? Cheap rip offs? i heard TJ steals everything. Have the two owners ever come up with one actual idea that they were able to execute.

          Comment by wow — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 8:26pm PST  
    • I used to work for 3 Ball Productions so this news doesn’t surprise me one bit. Bunch of hacks…it’s well-known that they steal the ideas of their shows and treat their employees like dirt.

      Comment by Eff3Ball — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:56pm PST  
      • Sounds like you must not be very good at what you do if 3Ball let you go. I work over there now and this place is amazing. Good luck finding a job.

        Comment by wanna be — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 8:29pm PST  
        • Finding a job that paid more for less/easier work after my stint at 3 Ball was no challenge at all, for your information.

          Comment by Eff3Ball — Friday November 12, 2010 @ 11:24am PST  
          • So what do you do now for a job? Looks like you were looking for an easy job. Your skills must not be very good or you would have moved up the ladder. Sit back and do less to get paid more. Sounds like you are a perfect union member.

            Comment by wanna be — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 9:38pm PST  
          • That’s probably whey they are doing well over there. You left!

            Comment by younion — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 9:48pm PST  
        • Wanna Be — Sounds like you are willing to be a 3Ball Whore. Does 3Ball pay you Healthcare to work on their crappy shows? Doubt it. If you are on a union show you get more than a paycheck — you get Healthcare, Pension, Overtime Compensation and Night Pay Bump. Nothing 3Ball offers.

          And stop bragging so much that you work in a “great place.” 3Ball is a mindless factory that puts out Ass Crap. They ruined Master Chef, show was a hit in England. It’s a factory of mindless drones who are happy getting a simple (average) day rate, and access to a Latte machine and what else? A 3Ball Tote Bag? We will unionize your show and boot you from the company you slacker.

          Comment by Union Editor — Friday November 19, 2010 @ 6:59pm PST  
    • Just because a show brings in “hundreds of millions of dollars” does NOT mean those dollars should go to the crew. Did anyone on the crew think of the show or how to produce it? No. They were hired to do their job, just like everyone else in America. Everyone out here thinks they’re so entitled to make as much money as the people who generated their job in the first place. Sorry folks, do your fucking job or someone else will. You’re not entitled to profits just because it makes a ton of money. Because you know what, all the shows that fail and go down after a season or two and lose millions of dollars dont ask you to retroactively give back some of your pay do they?? NO, they pay you to drive your truck or put makeup on or whatever. Stop bitching unless you want to be a true profit participant and start creating your own shows, taking all the risk and reaping the rewards.

      Comment by bill — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 7:53am PST  
      • What is this all about? All they want are basics, like health care. Jeez, take an ambien.

        Comment by Marty — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 7:28pm PST  
      • Hey Bill-
        Sorry that this post took you away from watching hannity, o’reilly, or any other shitbagger neocon propaganda that your feeble mind obviously subscribes to. When will you arrogant bastards stop commenting on things that you know nothing about? I work on the show, which is basically a 2 hr commercial hawking products that pay for the show. There is no investment by any producer, period. All they do is take credit for the crew’s hard work, which is our investment in the venture!!! The least these greedy bastards can do is provide a pension for those of us working 60 hr weeks making them rich. Did I mention that there is a cruise line, a resort, food products, dvds, and a wii game, all of which these overpaid turds could convert to paying the union dues, and still have millions to spare. But you’re not listening, because your head is firmly planted up big business’ ass. Its quite ironic, given that the wealthy minority depend on schmucks like you to spread their bullshit and increase their already inflated profit. What is too much? When the divide between have and have not erupts into a full-scale revolution. Hopefully then, it will be your blood spilling into the streets you ignorant asshole!!!

        Comment by stop the lies — Monday November 15, 2010 @ 8:08pm PST  
  • Very funny, Dude.

    Comment by Jake Gittes — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 12:02am PST  
  • I’m sure the producers were surprised. And by that I mean, “How dare they ask for fair compensation and benefits. We planned to screw them forever. What a surprise this is.”

    Go IATSE!

    Comment by zackery — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 12:05am PST  
  • Worst working conditions + 3 Ball is greedy and cheap

    Comment by BLVet — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 12:08am PST  
    • Sounds like you are really well educated. No wonder your name is BL vet. You were probably let go for your lack of competent work.

      Comment by BL Fan — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 9:40pm PST  
  • Let’s hope the show can avoid efforts to unionize. The unions in this industry are unnecessary parasites, especially IATSE and the Teamsters. The level of demand for the actual skill and quality of labor provided is astounding. All these unions do is protect the mediocre and sub-mediocre.

    Comment by J — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 12:10am PST  
    • Spoken like a true producer. Go look into the eyes and faces of the people you let go. To you it is a machine. Good luck with your conscience, you will live with this decision forever.

      Comment by insider11 — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 8:38am PST  
      • Who the hell do you think you are?

        Comment by anti self righteous — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 6:14pm PST  
    • hey where were you born, the average, mediocre, and submediocre are the ones doing these jobs. are you a part of wallyworld, it sounds like it.

      Comment by OUT CAST — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 9:22pm PST  
    • See above, but unions are NECESSARY to protect the job of the hard worker from the hands of the greedy corporations who want to get as much done for as little as possible. What kind of asshole are you?

      Comment by WTFisGoodTVComingTo? — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 10:34pm PST  
      • Go try and create your own existence. I bet you can’t. You will always have to live off the success of others and then take it out on them. Sounds like you are quite jealous. It’s ok, a lot of union people are and feel they should get paid for the high risk that others take. Good luck parasite.

        Comment by Anonymous — Saturday November 13, 2010 @ 9:43pm PST  
    • This leads to a mediocre and sub-mediocre workforce. Not a good thing if you are interested in economic growth and competitiveness.

      Comment by Brad — Friday November 12, 2010 @ 12:21pm PST  
  • And yet, everyone cheers on Peter Jackson for exploiting New Zealand crews and nearly fighting their attempts to unionize?

    How is this any different?

    Comment by Hypocrites... — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 1:30am PST  
  • Attention WGA: This is how you get things done.

    You’ll never see a WGA official walk in and lead “story producers” out en masse. When the ‘Top Model’ writers went on strike, the WGA threw them under the bus.

    When I was “story producing” (writing scripts) on ARREST & TRIAL, a non-union crime reality show (Dick Wolf, BTW) several years ago, the DGA and the Teamsters all marched on set and closed things down until they each got a contract. All the WGA did was have us take “secret meetings” for weeks where people boasted about what we were going to do, and then never did a thing. I was willing to have us erase every script about to go into production, which would have crippled the show (it aired five days a week so the turnaround was insane). But nobody had the stones to go through with it.

    This is why writers continue to be treated badly. Too many us do nothing but bitch and whine while never doing anything about it.

    If anyone would like to take issue with this, have at it. But if you post your comment without using your REAL NAME, you’ll have proven my point.

    Comment by Tom Reynolds — Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 3:50am PST  
    • Been there and done that and I don’t take issue with a single word of your statement, Tom.

      Sounds to me like reality folks need to start knocking on the door of IA or the Teamsters now that the WGA’s focus has shifted to organizing videogame writers.

      Comment by StoryMe — Thursday November 11, 2010 @ 1:00pm PST  
    • Tom, great post. And yep- I’ve said that over and over. The people to blame are the WGA and its members who looked down on reality TV writers even though we wrote more than our sit-com counterpoints. In sit-com you have a month to write a script and a team of writers with you. In reality- you are lucky to get a week alone.

      WGA caused all of this. Not to mention all the money they lost by doing nothing. Both in dues and in the fact there are less scripted as reality is cheaper to do- because of the refusal to back the writers.

      And look- its my real name!

      Comment by Mike Rotman — Sunday November 14, 2010 @ 9:45am PST  
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