Today a group of picketers showed their support for the writers of American Idol by hoisting their picket signs and passing leaflets out to people entering and exiting the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, where the reality show was holding their narrow-down-the-ones-who-made-it-to-Hollywood auditions.
Yes, indeed, reality shows have writers. And, those writers are not granted WGA union contracts by the AMPTP. Unfortunately, this means they are not protected and, as revealed in a new study commissioned by the WGAw, "overwhelmingly work long hours without receiving overtime pay, health insurance, and other benefits..."
Not fair you say? We agree. And, so does the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), whom:
recently ruled that a reality TV story producer was improperly classified as an exempt employee and should have been paid overtime, the results of the [new] study “indicate that the total overtime liability for employers could reach almost $100 million..."
Unfortunately, corporations like Fremantle Media (the producers of American Idol), find any loophole they can to get out of fair pay and health insurance for their employees.
To write, or call Fremantle to let them know you are a viewer and would like to see them change their policies, contact them at:
1 Stephen Street
T +44 (0)20 7691 6000
You can also visit their website to see a list of their programs and properties.