As you know, Deadline TV Editor Nellie Andreeva has been keeping you up-to-date on every development of this breaking labor story. (‘Biggest Loser’ Production To Resume On Monday With Replacements) Now here’s my opinion: NBC needs to put an immediate stop to this disgusting situation before someone gets hurt. Shame on the broadcast network for embracing a show that’s now bringing in scab workers on Monday to replace striking IATSE members. NBC can and should put its foot down after 10 seasons of airing The Biggest Loser and use its influence with Shine Group’s Reveille Productions and 25/7 Productions, and JD Roth’s and Todd Nelson’s Eyeworks-owned 3 Ball Productions, to stop the confrontation. And I’m calling on NBC Universal Television Group President/COO Jeff Gaspin to get personally involved. I’m also calling on Shine’s Elizabeth Murdoch to consider her prominence in the entertainment biz and do the right thing. What else should be on the horizon? Hollywood guilds leadership from AFTRA and the DGA which already have agreements with the production, as well as SAG and the WGA, should ask their members to help picket and think about staging a one-day walkout to express their unity. (Of course, IATSE opposed the WGA’s strike. And the writers guild wants to sign up all of reality TV’s so-called “editor/producers” now repped by IATSE, but that’s not this issue. Here’s a chance to heal old wounds now that IATSE has new leadership.) This morning, IATSE released this statement:
Los Angeles – Production crew members on strike against the producers of “The Biggest Loser” will face strike-breakers crossing their picket line on Monday, Nov. 15, at their location at the King Gillette Ranch, 26800 West Mulholland Highway in Calabasas. IATSE leaders and rank and file members of several production locals will join the union and non-union “Loser” crew to man the picket line.
Since the strike started and production shut down Monday, Nov. 8, and a preliminary discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 9, here have been no talks regarding crew representation on the reality series with production entities Reveille Productions, 25/7 Productions, and 3 Ball Productions. The strike was called after 100% of the production crew voted to support the IA and the producers refused to recognize the IA as the bargaining unit for the production crew. AFTRA and DGA already have agreements with the production.
IA International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “The crew has not lost their resolve in spite of the employer hiring replacement workers and being unwilling to discuss a contract. The IATSE will not lose our resolve to support them until this strike is over.”
“The Biggest Loser” is in its tenth season and airs on NBC.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada, AFL-CIO, CLC (IATSE) is one of the largest entertainment labor unions in the world and represents over 110,000 technicians, artisans and craftspeople employed in stagecraft, motion picture and television production, the trade show industry, and affiliated crafts
throughout the United States, Its Territories and Canada.