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Thread: Labor Issues & Personal Values...

  1. #1
    FORT Fan realfun's Avatar
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    Labor Issues & Personal Values...

    I am just wondering if there are any viewers out there with an opinion on the labor difficulties with ANTM.

    All the writers for the series were fired when they tried to unionize. Yes, ANTM is scripted. The writers were replaced with "producers" who will do the same scripting as the former writers (but will be paid a bit better, but still will not qualify for health care), but will not be subject to unionization.

    Do any regular ANTM viewers have strong feelings about unions and/or the way "below the line" people are treated?

    If you do, will you continue watching this season, knowing that ANTM has tried to "bust" the union?

    If you don't, why is it unimportant to you?

    If you're conflicted about this issue, what are your thoughts?

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    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    Yes, it's pretty crummy of the show to try to get around the writers' demands by hiring scabs. Do you have any more details about ANTM in particular? I thought it was "reality television writers" in general who were trying to unionize.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

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    FORT Fan realfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat;2257322;
    Yes, it's pretty crummy of the show to try to get around the writers' demands by hiring scabs. Do you have any more details about ANTM in particular? I thought it was "reality television writers" in general who were trying to unionize.
    No, this was specifically ANTM writers. They were actually on strike here in LA for several weeks a couple of months ago, and it was reported daily in the trades (Variety & The Hollywood Reporter). It's pretty disgusting that Tyra hasn't said word one about it.

    One of the writers actually posted on her MySpace blog about how she was escorted out of Nordstroms at The Grove (a shopping area in LA) one day after she'd been picketing and then had gone to The Grove to shop, but while wearing a t-shirt which advertised her discontent with the ANTM producers. She was asked to leave Nordstroms because Tyra and her enterouge had entered and didn't want a confrontation.

    YIKES!!

    I will cull a few articles on the issue and post them here, if that's okay.

    I, personally, LOVE this show. But I cannot get down with a show that tries to (and apparently succeeds with union busting) when unionization is warrented.

    Survivor, The Amazing Race, Wife Swap, Trading Spouses, Blind Date, Elimidate and several other "reality television" shows have allowed their writers to unionize -- after work stoppages by the writers. None have wholesale FIRED their writers -- and this has created an issue for the National Labor Relations Board. Of course, this takes time -- lots of time, and for working people who work from pay check to pay check, time is a big deal.

    I am a member of the Writers' Guild West, because I write for a television series, and I am grateful every day that I'm represented by a union that can demand health insurance and a pension, as well as a minimum wage, and some payment in the form of residuals for reruns for me. Because, alone, I couldn't do any of that. Alone, I'd work for nothing and would have nothing at the end of the day.

    Whether we like to admit it or not, writers have made ANTM enjoyable for us for the past several seasons. And now, when ANTM is busting their attempt to unionize and hiring scabs to do the same work, it just seems to me to be wrong.

    I LOVE this show. It's my favorite show on television (even though I work in fully scripted television). But I cannot and will not watch or patronize this show if they're anti-union or union busting.

    Tyra should be ashamed of herself. Truly.

  4. #4
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    I will cull a few articles on the issue and post them here, if that's okay.
    Yes, as long as you provide a link.

    I get the sense that because people think of reality television as being unscripted, that it just doesn't garner the same sort of sympathy as writers for a drama series or a sitcom.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  5. #5
    The eyes says everything quangtran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realfun;2257318;
    The writers were replaced with "producers" who will do the same scripting as the former writers (but will be paid a bit better, but still will not qualify for health care), but will not be subject to unionization.
    Oh. I read in an article last season that the producers and the editors filled in as writers. Guess they found a more permanent solution.

  6. #6
    Smilin' with her eyes As-Tom's Avatar
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    Okay. I don't really have an opinion about this yet. I do feel those people should've got health insurance and a chance for a pension. But what I'm wondering about, why doens't Tyra want to make this possible, what are her reasons? Will it cost her more money? Does anybody have the answer to that question?

    Other than that. I think realfun, that you have a clear opinion about this and the principle that you won't watch the show because it comes really close to you. Because you are a writer yourselve, you (might?) have dealt with the same problem getting the possibility for a pension and the health insurance. I'm just a 16 years young kid that doens't even know how you work on your pension and how to get health insurance, and what it exactly means. (I might sound ignorant, but nobody just never really explained and I was never curious enough to ask somebody I wanna know when the times comes that I have to deal with those things or when they'll talk about it in school)
    For me the issue is just something I've read a little bit about once in a while on this forum. But it doesn't come close to me personally.. So about stopping watching the show, this won't be the reason But although I don't really have an opinion about this, I do find this an interesting subject You might wonder, why post then, well I just wanted to say that I find the issue interesting, but I'd like to know more about it before I make my opinion
    So I'd like to read some of the articles and I'd like to know why Tyra & co doesn't make the insurance and pension possible.. ?
    "A group who forms a unit that excludes people on the persuasion that you hate a person [Paloma] is bullying and it's bitchy. Who instigated this [Jordan] is an absolute moron and who took part in it and encouraged it [Anika, Danica, Sophie, Alice] are even bigger morons." - Charlotte Dawson. Amen!

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    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    The reason? If the writers unionize, then that restricts who the show can hire, their pay structure, etc. It's completely about the money and retaining power.

    Sadly, it's amazing that there are any unions left in Hollywood. There's always a fresh crop of people willing to work for nothing and forego health insurance and retirement benefits out of desperation.

    In America, there is no universal healthcare system, so it is a BIG deal to be working full time without benefits. If you were a minimum-wage receptionist for a big company, you would get benefits because the law requires it if the company is over a certain amount of employees. Some employers try to get around this by only opening positions that are 30 hours (therefore, "part-time") and even hiring 2 people at 20 hours to avoid the benefits. I can't remember an exact amount but adding benefits on top of salary is like getting a huge pay raise.

    Having said that, I would think Tyra - who likes to appear sensitive and caring on her talk show or her camp for girls - would get a clue about her own writing staff.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

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