Latest Labor News


‘Midnight Rider’ Crew Kept In Dark Over Safety, Federal Investigation Reveals

Midnight Rider Sarah Jones Death Investigation

EXCLUSIVE: New, surprising details have emerged about the on-set death of 27-year-old camerawoman Sarah Jones during the first day of filming on Midnight Rider. Crew members were not told about an email from railroad owner CSX denying them permission to shoot on the Doctortown train trestle in rural Georgia, as at least 20 members piled onto the tracks 25 to 30 feet above the water under dangerous conditions led by director Randall Miller. See newly released pictures… Read


BC Unions Fear California Production Tax Incentive Impact As Contract Talks Loom

Canada Flag

With a wary eye on California's pending tax incentives and the jobs it promises to drain from Canada, negotiations for a new set of contracts covering actors, directors and crewmembers working in British Columbia will get underway November 3. During the last set of contract talks three years ago, the unions in BC expressed concern that the long string of steady employment there might be running out. Those fears proved unfounded: According to data compiled by the BC film… Read


DGA Board Approves New Commercials Contract


The DGA's national board of directors has unanimously approved the terms of a new three-year contract covering directors and members of the directorial team working on TV commercials. The new pact, which includes pay raises of 2.75% in the first year and 3% in each of the second and third years, now goes to the guild's members for final ratification. "Members working in commercials represent a strong and steady portion of the DGA membership, and this contract will secure… Read


WGA PAC Endorsements Heavy On California Incumbent Democrats

WGA West Logo Grid

With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, the WGA West's political action committee has endorsed California Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris for re-election. The guild's PAC also endorsed seven candidates for the U.S. Senate — all incumbent Democrats — and nine Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. "These candidates have demonstrated support for the Writers Guild's public policy priorities," the WGA West's PAC said in a… Read


Oh, Baby: Lax Labor Laws (Or None At All) Leave Working Infants On Sets Vulnerable


Protecting Kids On Sets: Third In A Series Finding film and television work for newborn and prematurely born babies is big business. Project Casting, a popular casting website, put out a call for the CW's The Originals, which was shooting in New Orleans. "Casting for Caucasian babies to play our lead character's baby for our final season episode," the April notice said. "Newborns or older that are the size of newborns. Babies that were premature are ideal!" That same… Read


Art Directors Guild To Add Tyler, Lisanby, Beckman To Hall Of Fame

Art Directors Guild logo expanded 10-15-14, 10.48.26 PM

They worked with Charlie Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille and Judy Garland, and now they're being inducted into the Art Directors Guild's Hall of Fame. Legendary production designers Walter Tyler, Charles Lisanby and John Gabriel Beckman will receive the posthumous honor at the guild's 19th annual Excellence in Production Design Awards in January. Tyler, who died in 1990, won the 1951 Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration for DeMille's Sampson and Delilah, and was… Read


‘Midnight Rider’ Accident: Federal Regulators Still Investigating “Root Cause”


The Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are still in the throes of investigating the Midnight Rider case, both looking for the “root” and “probable cause” of the fatal accident that took place on railroad tracks in Georgia during the first day of filming for the Gregg Allman biopic in February. Both reports could be out before the involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass trial of filmmakers Randall Miller, Jody Savin, Jay… Read


CNN Layoffs Hit L.A. Entertainment Unit And Christiane Amanpour’s NYC Staffers

CNN logo

The ax at CNN began to fall today and will continue tomorrow, when Time Warner execs will meet with Wall Street analysts and investors to make a case for the company's growth prospects. All told, there will be about 300 layoffs — including 130 voluntary buyouts — equal to about 8% of the news channel's workforce. "The changes this week are difficult yet necessary,” CNN says. “Out of respect for our colleagues directly impacted, we won't be commenting on specific people or… Read


WGA Members Ratify Public TV Contract


WGA members have voted unanimously to ratify a new contract with public broadcasting stations WGBH Boston and WNET New York. The pact also covers guild members employed at KCET Los Angeles, though it did not take part in the negotiations, and at numerous production companies that produce shows for WGBH and WNET. The new deal increases minimum pay rates, which are also the basis for residuals payments, by 2% retroactive to July 1, 2014, and 2.5% on July 1, 2015. The… Read


‘Painted Down: The Movie’ Clip – Bill Cosby & Others Recount Black Stuntmen’s Early Hollywood Struggles

Painted Down Bill Cosby

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Cosby recounts being doubled by a white stuntman on the 1960s TV series I Spy in a new documentary film that's being made about the early struggles of black stuntmen in Hollywood. In Painted Down, Cosby hilariously describes his chagrin as he watched a white stuntman apply black makeup to his face and hands — and then don a black wig — to double for Cosby in a scene for one of the show's first episodes. The docu's title takes its name from the age-old… Read


‘Shahs Of Sunset’ Strike Over: Deal Ratified With Ryan Seacrest Productions

Shahs Of Sunset Strike

Just under two weeks after the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees slapped Bravo with unfair labor practices charges at the Labor Relations Board, it looks looks like everything is now over – in a good way. "The crew of Shahs Of Sunset voted unanimously to ratify a union agreement, ending the month-long strike," said the Motion Picture Editors Guild tonight. Today's deal was between producers Ryan Seacrest Productions and the Guild, sources tell me. While… Read


Plan To Film ‘Gotham’ Stunt Woman In Blackface Scrapped By Warner Bros. TV


EXCLUSIVE: After receiving inquiries from Deadline, Warner Bros. has canceled plans to "paint down" a white stunt woman to double for a black actress on its hit Fox show Gotham. On Monday, dark makeup was applied to the face of a white stunt woman in a hair and makeup test in advance of two days of filming next week in New York. After receiving calls from Deadline, WB initially downplayed the significance of the story, but after looking into it said that it had made a… Read


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