Writers Guild plans to sue networks and production companies; Bachelor fired its loggers

The Writers Guild plans to “file a lawsuit next week against some networks and production companies, charging breach of California’s overtime laws,” The New York Times reports. That’s an attempt “to try to force reality production companies and the networks that present the shows to negotiate a union contract.”

One major complaint is about the amount of pay for the level of work. “Salaries for producers and editors on reality shows vary widely, and often depend on the production company, though network shows tend to pay more than cable,” the Times reports. “One show may offer $2,500 a week for a field producer, while another may offer $1,600 a week. By comparison, the minimum guild rate for a writer on a prime-time, 13-week scripted show is $3,477 per week.”

In the piece, the paper reveals an interesting piece of information about the production of ABC’s biggest reality franchise. During the last season, a producer on The Bachelor “found that the production had eliminated the low-level clerks, called loggers, who catalogue the contents of hundreds of hours of video taken of the contestants,” according to the New York Times. Todd Sharp, who had to assemble an episode by sorting through all the footage himself, says, “They were trying to save money.”

Union Plans to File Suit for Reality TV Workers [New York Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.