Accusing ITV Studios of “working their people to the breaking point and then kicking them to the curb,” New York City Councilman Corey Johnson has called on the British-owned company to sign a collective bargaining agreement Writers Guild of America East – a battle the guild has been waging for years. The UK’s biggest production and distribution company also bills itself as “the fastest-growing TV production company” in the U.S., where it produces shows as Kitchen Nightmares for Fox, The Good Witch for the Hallmark Channel and Four Weddings for the Learning Channel. “The creative economy is important to New York City,” Johnson said, “and we need to encourage its growth. But we don’t need to encourage the growth of a business model that takes advantage of a precarious freelance workforce.” The guild said ITV “works its producer-writers – including associate producers, field producers, and post-producers – 50, 60, 70 hours per week and refuses to provide them health benefits, paid time off and other basic protections. ITV employees in Britain would not – and do not – tolerate such treatment.” The company, which last week paid $360 million to acquire 80% of Pawn Stars producer Leftfield Entertainment Group, has not responded to Deadline’s calls for comment.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.