UPDATE, 3:04PM: Bravo may have today taken over control of Shahs of Sunset but the Motion Picture Editors Guild isn’t going to let them pink slip the postproduction crew on the once Ryan Seacrest Productions run show without a fight – be it on the picket line or the courts. “The right to organize, including the right to strike, is enshrined in federal law,”” said IATSE Local 700 organizer Rob Callahan this afternoon. “It is an egregious violation of the law for any employer to discharge or otherwise retaliate against employees for exercising their right to organize. The Editors Guild and IATSE will aggressively defend the rights of our membership against all such violations.” The Editors Guild will have some serious defending to do, sources confirm that Bravo will definitely be taking the show non-union going forward.
PREVIOUS, 2:25 PM: After nearly two weeks on the picket line and no talks scheduled, the striking editors of Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset look to be off the job permanently today.”Bravo is assuming control of production of Season 4 of Shahs of Sunset from Ryan Seacrest Productions,” said the NBCU-owned cabler in a curt statement today. While RSP will still remain executive producers of the series, the editors seeking a union contract will likely have nothing to do with postproduction on the current season once and if it gets up and running, sources tell me.
Soon after the strike started, Bravo pulled the October 13 S4 debut date of Shahs. “The new airdate has yet to be determined,” said the cable network on September 11. No word yet on when Bravo will try to get the show back on track. Bravo’s statement today comes just minutes after producers Ryan Seacrest Productions sent out a statement of their own, that read:
“Bravo controls the rights to Shahs of Sunset, and as a result, makes all final decisions regarding production and budgetary matters. Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP) has deferred to the network¹s decision for Bravo to assume all remaining production duties on Shahs of Sunset. RSP will be unable to continue working with the editors that were previously engaged on this production. We appreciate the passion, commitment and contributions these editors made to the fourth season of Shahs of Sunset, and we¹re extremely proud of show, and applaud all the great work that the cast, producers and crew have made to date. “
A day after sending RSP subsidiary Berne Productions Inc.a letter requesting talks, the 16-member postproduction crew of the reality show walked off the job on September 10 in search of a union contract with the Motion Picture Editors Guild . Like the Guild’s successful Survivor labor action of last month, the Shahs post crew members have primarily been seeking health and pension benefits. At the time RSP said they had “every intention of engaging in a discussion as soon as possible.”
The intention may have been there for RSP but there have been no talks with IATSE local 700 since the strike started. What has become clear, and today’s actions confirm even more, is that Bravo and NBCUniversal are making the decisions on how this strike will play out from the corporate side. With that in mind, late last week the union started taking a new approach by reaching out to ad agencies who have clients like Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Honda who advertise on Bravo. “We encourage you to advise your clients that we retain our right to communicate with our members, members of affiliated organizations, and the public at large about those brands sponsoring the conduct of entities with which we have a labor dispute,” said a letter from the Editors Guild that went out to big ad agencies. What their response to today’s move by Bravo and RSP will be has yet to be seen.