The guild, which began representing Original Media employees last year, filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board. There is pending federal court litigation, filed last year by a 25 year-old production assistant, alleging sexual harassment at Original’s tattoo competition series “Ink Master,” now in its sixth season on Spike. The show is hosted by rocker Dave Navarro.
Original Media responded with a statement that brushed off the complaint: “The sexual harassment policy and other company policies requested by the WGAE are contained within Original Media’s employee handbook, which every employee receives. The WGAE’s charge against Original is baseless, and we expect it will be withdrawn or dismissed.”
WGA East exec director Lowell Peterson said, “We want to know what procedures are available to employees who experience or witness inappropriate behavior in the workplace. It is unfathomable to us that Original Media, which is part of the multinational media corporation Endemol/Shine, would mistreat the men and women who write and produce the shows that are essential to its enterprise.”
The union said it requested the sexual harassment policy during contract negotiations early this year and that the NLRB is already investigating charges that Original violated federal labor law by failing and refusing to bargain in good faith. The WGA East also asserted that dozens of associate producers have worked without overtime pay, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in wage and hour violations.