×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Writers Guild Pickets ‘Pawn Stars’ Producer in Los Angeles Over Low Pay Rates

About 50 members and supporters of the Writers Guild of America East have picketed Leftfield Entertainment and parent ITV network at its Los Angeles offices over low pay rates to its members.

The guild accused Leftfield Entertainment, the largest “reality”/nonfiction production company on the East Coast, and ITV of union-busting for their failure to offer realistic salaries during recent negotiations. Lowell Peterson, exec director of the WGA East, told Variety that associate producers have been offered $800 for a 60-hour work week.

“That’s not even what fast-food workers make in New York City.” he added. “We’ve got agreements on some of the contracts but the employers have been utterly inflexible on the salary issue.”

Part of a flyer distributed Thursday read: “The people creating this extremely profitable reality television are often left working long hours without overtime pay, unaffordable or constantly changing healthcare plans, little or no time off, and at times, extremely unsafe working conditions.”

Chants included, “This is what the union looks like” and “ITV, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side.”

The WGA East unionized the Leftfield writer-producers last year, covering shows such as  “Tiny House,” “American Grit,” “Pawn Stars” and “Counting Cars.” The guild picketed at A&E Networks headquarters in Manhattan on Nov. 15.

ITV issued a blistering response: “In what has become its routine unprofessional and egregious behavior, the WGAE is continuing to perpetuate its many lies and mischaracterizations of the facts while we at ITV undertake to negotiate with the Guild in good faith.”

“Apparently the WGAE deems it a good use of its membership’s dues to travel people out to the Sherman Oaks Galleria to protest management that is not only continuing to do its work at the bargaining table, but that currently offers pay well above the ‘minimums’ the Guild has negotiated with other production companies, provides healthcare, paid time off, controls on hours worked, retirement and many other benefits already standard practice at ITV. This transparent, propaganda-driven stunt notwithstanding, Leftfield will continue to do our good faith negotiating with the WGAE as we have been. Meanwhile, we sincerely hope that anyone who hung around the mall for the excruciating 60 minutes in the California sunshine was able to stop by the Cheesecake Factory for a yummy slice of strawberry pie.”

The guild began organizing reality TV six years ago. It represents writer-producers at the ITV-owned Kirkstall Road Enterprises, Original Media, Sharp Entertainment, Optomen Prods., Lion TV and Jane Street Entertainment.

 

 

 

More TV

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content