Bravo Fires Striking Editors, Takes Over Production on ‘Shahs of Sunset’

shahs of sunset

Bravo has taken over production on its reality series “Shahs of Sunset” from Ryan Seacrest Prods. to end the standoff with 16 editors who are seeking IATSE representation.

Bravo and Ryan Seacrest Prods. confirmed the shift in production responsibility on Friday afternoon. The show had been in post-production on its fourth season when 14 editors and two assistant editors went out on strike earlier this month, demanding an IATSE contract.

IATSE condemned Bravo’s move to fire the editors as a violation of the employees’ legal right to organize.

Bravo earlier this month delayed the planned fourth-season premiere of “Shahs,” which had been set for Oct. 13. The NBCUniversal cabler will finish off production on the episodes with a non-union crew in Los Angeles.

“Bravo controls the rights to ‘Shahs of Sunset,’ and as a result, makes all final decisions regarding production and budgetary matters,” RSP said in a statement. “Ryan Seacrest Productions has deferred to the network’s decision for Bravo to assume all remaining production duties on ‘Shahs of Sunset.’ RSP will be unable to continue working with the editors that were previously engaged on this production. We appreciate the passion, commitment and contributions these editors made to the fourth season of ‘Shahs of Sunset,’ and we’re extremely proud of show, and applaud all the great work that the cast, producers and crew have made to date.”

RSP had been caught in the middle of the NBCUniversal-IATSE battle over the show. Bravo’s move makes it clear that the cabler is resolved to not open the door to IATSE for editors on “Shahs” or other non-scripted shows. RSP developed the show but ownership and control rests with Bravo.

“The right to organize, including the right to strike, is enshrined in federal law. It is an egregious violation of the law for any employer to discharge or otherwise retaliate against employees for exercising their right to organize. The Editors Guild and IATSE will aggressively defend the rights of our membership against all such violations,” said Rob Callahan, national organizers for the Motion Picture Editors Guild.

The IATSE-affiliated editors guild has stepped up its activity of late in the unscripted TV world. Editors on CBS’ “Survivor” staged a brief walkout in August before coming to terms on a union deal with the Eye and Mark Burnett Prods.

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  1. Lurr Kurr says:

    BRAVO is famous for this. The higher ups don’t give a shit about anyone, and everyone is expendable. They shit on their workers. They ruin shows and even companies if it means their ego will ever take a back seat to anyone like an edit team. Not saying anything that everyone doesn’t already know and talk about all the time. BRAVO, you produce popular shows but at what cost? Bravo, BRAVO.

  2. David Shauger says:

    Micheal? Come on bro. They are not fighting to get hand outs. I’m IATSE and I work upwards of 70 hours a week. What do you know about efficient? I know for a fact that you can’t find a non union crew to do what we do. Come visit me in Louisiana where all the work is because your business type friends want more money while I have to be away from my family. I’m sure u have some smart ass answer but truth is without us you wouldn’t survive. Tell all the actors that from here on out they no longer are in a union. Then let the directors and writers know as well. Your a small fish just like the rest of us. Keep your opinion to yourself because it seems that’s all you care about. I on the other hand will continue to set the standard and teach my fellow union brothers how to do it right.

  3. Big Media Sucks says:

    I’ve got to say, normally I am not always a union supporter in every situation but on this – this sounds illegal if not technically legal what Bravo did. Bravo could argue they needed the show by a certain date – true; and under terms of an agreement with RSP they changed the way they produce the show – their right. However, whats’s probably common practice seems a bit startling why does RSP produce, develop but ulitimatley not own the show. If RSP doesn’t get the “off network” rights to that series then we clearly have a reason against one company to not own, I don’t know, ten some-odd television networks? It would be just another example how the govt has allowed HTown to be swallowed whole and it would be another reason TO SUPPORT UNIONS AND WORKERS facing to storm of the 4 major conglomerates who now own everything in Los Angeles. I’m a businessman but I see this as extremely troubling. Note to IATSE: a little reminder to you folks about the many restrictions the gov’t place on Comcast when allowed to merge with NBC Universal – someone is still probably watching the store on this still new company might be worth attracting further attention to this little story and all of the people involved in those NBCU Comcast merger hearings in Washington. Seems like several government folks might be interested in getting involved again and perhaps other groups that were against the merger at the time. I bet with a little influence IATSE could cause an even bigger headache to Bravo’s corporate parent if they wanted to over small dollar numbers to 14 some-odd editors. And RSP, “THIS…” Story Sounds like your next reality project get to it development execs.

    • Michael says:

      Clearly you are “union” person trying to sound like you understand the business. Your post makes no sense at all and you clearly don’t understand how any of this works. RSP doesn’t own the show, Bravo owns the show. Bravo bought the show from RSP and RSP negotiated the production services to Bravo as part of their deal. In the production services contract, in the event RSP can not deliver those production services then the network (Bravo) who owns the show, has the right to take-over production and do it themselves or hire another production services company. Every piece of that deal is negotiated and has nothing to do with unions or employees. If someone chooses to walk off the job then they should lose that job to someone who is willing to stay and work. The only “storm” is that all producers and production companies (including major studios) are getting smarter and hiring non-union workers for less hassle than hiring a union worker. It’s not even always about the money, it’s about the fact that someone has a gun to their heads and is telling them what they can and cannot do with their own business. That might have worked 20-30-40 years ago, but those days are over! As far as the government watching the NBCU/Comcast deal, that has nothing to do with union labor, it has to do with monopolizing the pay TV and broadcast network relationship. Thankfully for us and them, there is no shortage of people who are willing to work in a simple employee-employer relationship.

  4. Charlie says:

    Michael… you will be working until the day you die with that attitude! Those in the union positions opposite of you will actually have retirement as an option for them. So… good luck to you sir – I hope MTV will still keep you employed on pop trash when your 72!

    • Michael says:

      Unlike you Charlie, I don’t need someone to tell me how to plan for my future or what private pension funds to choose. I can plan my own retirement and I’m doing just fine without feeding union fat cats, and no one can ever take that away from me if I choose to work in a different craft or choose a different career path altogether, you will be a slave to your unions as they go broke over the next generation. Unions are irrelevant in today’s world, we have state and federal regulations that protect us now and we have the freedom to choose our financial planning now and in retirement. The same benefits and pensions are now available to everyone, wake up! Work is work pal, if you’re putting down “MTV pop trash” than why and the hell are you fighting to organize the same pop trash on Bravo? Union people bite the hand that feeds them and then wonder why everybody wants to stop feeding them. The same backwards-ass thinking that drove the economy into the toilet.

      • editrix says:

        A. Health care is a lot cheaper when you get it as a group. And while I support Obamacare, it did take away our ability to get healthcare as a group with other freelancers.

        B. Current labor law has not been sufficient to protect us from working tons of overtime without getting paid for it.

        C. We have way more leverage in negotiating as a group than individually. That’s just simple physics.

  5. editrix says:


  6. Michael says:

    Just another example of how unions cost their members more jobs. Unions are bad for business and bad for workers. How many more examples do we need? An archaic concept that is not relevant in today’s world.

    • Dea,n Okrand says:

      Just remember, pay for non-union work is based on union contracts. They are the benchmark. Why blame union members for creating better working conditions. What do you think non union work would be like if unions had not fought for better working conditions and won…things like the 5 day work week, over time, lunch breaks. All you non union people who are complaining, I would bet, take all these things for granted and expect them. Remember why they exist next time you dis union contracts!!!

      • Michael says:

        I don’t have any of those things because I’m a business person who values my work, not just an employee. I negotiate my own rate based on the project, I choose when to go to lunch, what hours to work and when I work overtime. I own my own time and if I need to work longer hours to meet a deadline, sometimes my own deadline, then I work longer hours without penalty to the production who hired me. I don’t always like 5-day work weeks and most of the time my effective hourly rate is much higher than “union” rates that you “fought” so hard to get. I work smart and efficiently and I get called back over and over again for more work because employers do not want to have to jump through hoops just to hire someone for a service, it’s basic business in 2014, not the 1950s. I commend Ryan Seacrest for being a smart businessperson and being among those who have the balls to say NO to this bullying and extortion.

    • Unioneer says:

      People like you are precisely why unions are so relevant and so necessary in today’s world.

      • Michael says:

        OK guys you HOLD THE LINE and meanwhile all us non-union people will pay our rent and feed our families. People like you are precisely why people like me are working and making a good living, never a shortage of work for non-union people in today’s world. Good luck to you.

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