Reality-TV Violations Probed in New York

With no fanfare, the Writers Guild of America West has parted ways with TV movie producer Larry Levinson in a dispute over unpaid residuals.

Levinson was not offered as a signatory a renewal under the new master contract ratified by members on April 30 — meaning that WGA members cannot work on new shows from Levinson without facing potential guild penalties.

Levinson and the WGA West have refused multiple requests for comment.

The board of the WGA West notified Levinson in March that it would not enter into an agreement with any Levinson company until it fully complied with its past residuals obligations — including accrued interest — and provided assurances that its “scofflaw” behavior would not continue.

“If, after May 1, Levinson does not sign the new minimum basic agreement (MBA) under conditions acceptable to the WGA, he will be thereafter barred from using WGA writers by operation of Working Rule 8,” the board said.

The WGA West, which has about 8,000 members, has not yet sent out a Rule 8 letter to members telling them not to work for Levinson.

Recent titles that Levinson has produced or exec produced for the Hallmark Channel include “A Lesson in Romance,” “The Santa Switch,” “The Thanksgiving House,” “Matchmaker Santa,” “I Married Who?” and “Notes From Dad.”

Levinson has been the subject of contention within the WGA for many years over residuals. Earlier this year, a group of WGA members who dubbed themselves Writers Unpaid sent an email to the WGA West board complaining about the issue.

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