×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Musicians Slam Networks Over Lack of Payment for Online Sites

Union musicians working on late-night, award, and other live television shows have been staging demonstrations to persuade networks to pay band members when they appear on YouTube and network websites.

The musicians, members of American Federation of Musicians Local 802, leafleted Thursday at 30 Rockefeller Plaza outside “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and in front of the Ed Sullivan Theater outside The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

In California,  there was leafleting outside “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” by members of AFM Local 47.  The union members leafleted Wednesday in Los Angeles outside “The Late Late Show With James Corden.”

“Other performers are all paid when Jimmy Kimmel Live! streams on YouTube or other online outlets, yet musicians are paid nothing. Musicians just want to be compensated for our likeness and our music,” said Cleto Escobedo III, Musical Director of Cleto and the Cletones. “I love Jimmy, the producers, and everyone we work with. We just need to make sure the networks treat us and ALL of our colleagues fairly.”

The AFM has been been negotiating a new contract with the networks for close to 18 months for work done on live or recorded television programs initially aired over a broadcast network or in syndication, including variety shows, awards shows, game shows, talk shows, morning shows and sports broadcasts. The previous contract expired in February, 2016.

The last round of negotiations took place in August. The next session is scheduled for Dec. 11. Reps for the networks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The music that you hear and watch on YouTube and streaming systems is hand made with the sweat and expertise of music makers who dedicate their lives for the enrichment of others. It is demoralizing and wrong when this is taken without equitable compensation. We are only seeking what is right and fair for our livelihoods and our families,” said Ray Chew, music director of “Dancing with the Stars” and “Showtime at the Apollo.”

The AFM said that the shows on web sites are supported by paid advertising. “Other performers are all paid residuals when live television shows stream — but musicians do not receive residuals for this type of work,” the union said.

The live TV contract covers  the American Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Country Music Awards, the Emmys, Golden Globes, “Good Morning America,” Grammys, “Harry,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” the Oscars, People’s Choice Awards, “Saturday Night Live,” “The Today Show,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Tony Awards, “The View” and “The Voice.”

Union members and supporters have been employing the #RespectTheBand” hashtag on Twitter to publicize the issues:

 

More TV

  • Crackle Latin America

    Sony Shuts Down Crackle Latin America Business

    Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription VOD service, which has 400,000 subscribers across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable. Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service — like the U.S. version of Crackle — before switching in 2016 to a subscription video-on-demand [...]

  • Empire of Sand Book

    Kronicle Media, Amyale, Rebel Maverick Option YA Novel 'Empire of Sand' for TV (EXCLUSIVE)

    Production companies Kronicle Media, Amyale and Rebel Maverick have partnered to develop the YA fantasy novel “Empire of Sand” by Tasha Suri as a TV series, Variety has learned exclusively. The novel by first-time author Suri is centers on Mehr, the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother–a member of a race of [...]

  • 'NYPD Blue' Sequel Pilot Casts Fabien

    'NYPD Blue' Sequel Pilot Casts Fabien Frankel in Lead Role

    The “NYPD Blue” pilot at ABC has cast newcomer Fabien Frankel in the role of Theo Sipowicz, Variety has confirmed. Theo is the son of Andy Sipowicz, who was played in the original series by Dennis Franz. Like his father he is described as a hard-drinking, hard-headed, and quick-witted cop. Frankel is a recent graduate of the London Academy of [...]

  • Bradley Whitford photographed at the PMC

    Bradley Whitford on the 'Obligation' to Speak Out Politically

    Having starred on Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing” for seven seasons, Bradley Whitford is certainly no stranger to political television. Now he’s in two more such series: Nat Geo’s exploration of the dot-com era, “Valley of the Boom” in which he plays real-life Netscape CEO James Barksdale, as well as Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” in [...]

  • 'Vikings' Alum Travis Fimmel Among 10

    'Vikings' Alum Travis Fimmel Among 10 Cast in TNT Drama 'Raised by Wolves'

    TNT has set 10 cast members for the Ridley Scott-produced drama “Raised by Wolves.” The show, which was ordered straight-to-series in October, centers on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences, the androids learn that controlling [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content