WGA leads reality show workers to file complaints for unpaid overtime

Reality show workers gathered today to file formal claims for unpaid overtime as part of the WGA’s ongoing efforts to unionize reality show workers. (Coincidentally, it’s exactly one week after I joked about this very issue.)

An unspecified number of workers, such as “writers, production assistants, contestant coordinators, craft services, and office workers,” “[gathered] at the Van Nuys office of the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) to file claims alleging that the producers of these shows owe them unpaid overtime and penalties that could total over $500,000,” the WGA said in a press release.

Last fall, a WGA survey found that reality show workers lose $38,400 in overtime annually. Shows whose workers were present today include Fox’s American Idol, CBS’ The Amazing Race, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, and ABC’s American Inventor.

Reality TV Workers Demand Fair Pay [WGA press release]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.

A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.