reality writers, editors, and producers want to unionize their “industry sweatshop.”

The people who produce reality TV shows want to unionize their segment of the television industry.

The Writer’s Guild of America says it “has received nearly 1,000 signed authorization cards from writers, producers, and editors who work in reality television and want to be represented by the WGAw.” Because of that, it “sent a demand letter for recognition to all of the major reality production companies. So far not one company has agreed to negotiate,” according to a release issued by the WGA.

The WGA’s president, Daniel Petrie Jr., calls reality TV an “industry sweatshop,” and says that workers produce reality shows “without health and pension benefits or minimum salary protections or residuals. They often work under oppressive conditions, among them near universal indifference to and noncompliance with state and federal overtime laws. The Writers Guild is committed to seeing the end of this ‘Holly-Mart.'”

He also said, “If the industry refuses, we are prepared to take the actions necessary to achieve our goals and to assist the reality TV workforce as they seek enforcement of state and federal overtime laws.” In other words, they’ll strike.

In its report about the WGA’s announcement, the Hollywood Reporter talked to producer Phil Gurin, who blames the networks, not production companies. He says the problem is with “the broadcast or cable networks or syndicators that give us money to make shows. They’re the ones that really need to recognize that to get really top-drawer writing, you have to pay for it.”

Writers Guild Launches Public Organizing Campaign for Reality TV Storytellers [WGA]
Reality TV Extra [WGA]
Writers Guild looks to halt reality ‘sweatshop’ [Hollywood Reporter]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.