FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. SEPTEMBER 10, 2014.
CONTACT: Rob Callahan
National Organizer, IATSE Local 700
Crew of Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset Shuts Down Post-Production
Ryan Seacrest Productions Employees Strike in Advance of Scheduled 10/13 Premiere
Los Angeles, California – September 10, 2014 – Demanding union recognition and a contract, crew members of Shahs of Sunset, produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions for the Bravo Network, shut down post-production work on the upcoming fourth season of the series.
Shahs’ employees have overwhelmingly signed cards authorizing the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) to negotiate on their behalf. On Tuesday the union sent Berne Productions, Inc., a Ryan Seacrest Productions subsidiary and the crew’s employer, a letter requesting an immediate start to contract talks. The crew walked off the job on Wednesday morning after having received no response from the employer.
Bravo announced yesterday that it has scheduled season four of Shahs of Sunset to premiere on October 13, 2014.
Today’s action is the latest in a series of high-profile work stoppages by production and post-production reality television crews in the IATSE’s ongoing campaign to unionize the genre. The walkout comes less than a month after a similar strike succeeded in winning a contract for employees of CBS’s long-running hit Survivor.
“Unscripted entertainment entails much more than simply presenting an unfiltered view of a bunch of big personalities. Bringing these stories to the screen requires tremendous craft and effort,” said Motion Picture Editors Guild (IATSE Local 700) President Alan Heim, A.C.E. “The artists and craftspeople who do that work seek the same basic industry standards that their counterparts in scripted programming have long enjoyed. For a show celebrating flamboyant opulence, it should be embarrassing that they don’t provide employees with health and retirement benefits.”
The Motion Picture Editors Guild is Local 700 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Established in 1937, the Guild now represents more than 7,300 postproduction professionals working nationwide in television, features, and new media.