12 reality TV writers sue four networks and four production companies

The Writers Guild has made good on its promise to sue reality TV show production companies and the networks that air the shows over the pay of reality TV “writers.” They’re “charging eight television networks and production companies with gross violations of California’s labor laws governing payment of overtime, wages, and meal periods,” according to a WGA press release.

The WGA says the 12 “were required to falsify their time cards” because “the employees worked far in excess of 40 hours per week during virtually every week of their employment but never received any premium overtime pay.” They’ve posted sample pay stubs as evidence.

The four networks are ABC, CBS, The WB, and TBS; the companies are The Next Entertainment, Telepictures Productions, Syndicated Productions, Inc., and Dawn Syndicated Productions. The plaintiffs are Troy Devolld, Michael Gara, Brian Gibson, Christian Huber, Thomas Hietter, Nicole Hedlund, Sarah Levine, Eduardo Penna, Todd Sharp, Emily Sinclair, J. Ryan Stradal, and Kevin Thomas.

Reality Writers Sue Major Networks and Production Companies for Violations of California Labor Laws [WGA West]
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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, 37, 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.