Biggest Loser resume production today with scabs after crew walked out last week

Production on The Biggest Loser has been shut down for a week after the crew walked out in an attempt to unionize, but today production is scheduled to resume. That’s because “producers are bringing in replacements and the show will continue to be non-union,” Deadline reported, adding that “no Biggest Loser crew members are expected to cross the picket line on Monday.”

An International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees press release confirms that report, saying “crew members on strike against the producers of ‘The Biggest Loser’ will face strike-breakers crossing their picket line on Monday, Nov. 15, at their location at the King Gillette Ranch, 26800 West Mulholland Highway in Calabasas.” IATSE says “[there] have been no talks regarding crew representation on the reality series with production entities Reveille Productions, 25/7 Productions and 3 Ball Productions. The strike was called after 100% of the production crew voted to support the IA and the producers refused to recognize the IA as the bargaining unit for the production crew.”

On Thursday, the producers sent a letter to crew members, which was reproduced by Deadline, that asks crew members to “think about the following factual answers to typical questions about strikes,” one of which says crew members who strike can be “permanently replaced.” As to why they don’t want a union, producers said: “The threat of strikes is a major reason the Company is opposed to this union. We also don’t see why you should have to pay union dues, fees, fines and assessments in order to work here. Some of our employees have worked for the Company for years. We strongly prefer to solve problems directly with our employees, without the involvement of a union with its own agenda.”

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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.