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Bravo Fires Striking Editors, Takes Over Production on ‘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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