UPDATED, 3:32 PM: A spokesperson for Original Media tells Deadline that the guild’s charge is baseless. “The sexual harassment policy and other company policies requested by the WGAE are contained within Original Media’s employee handbook, which every employee receives,” she said. “The WGAE’s charge against Original is baseless, and we expect it will be withdrawn or dismissed.”
PREVIOUSLY, 2:54 PM: The WGA East has filed an unfair labor practices charge against Original Media, producer of reality shows including Ink Master and Swamp People, claiming that the company has failed to disclose its sexual harassment policy. The union had requested a copy of the policy in May in preparation for contract negotiations with the company. In its complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, the guild said that Original Media “failed to provide this information at the subsequent bargaining session on June 11, 2015, and the request remains outstanding to date.”
Last year, a former production assistant on Ink Master filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in New York claiming that two hosts of the Spike TV show had routinely made unwelcome sexual advances toward her and engaged in “non-consensual, unwelcome and inappropriate touching.”
“We want to know what procedures are available to employees who experience or witness inappropriate behavior in the workplace,” said WGA East Executive Director Lowell Peterson. “It is unfathomable to us that Original Media, which is part of the multinational media corporation Endemol Shine, would mistreat the men and women who write and produce the shows that are essential to its enterprise.”
Original Media has yet to respond to a Deadline request for comment.
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