Guild Wants Novelas in the Union

Jun 12, 2006  •  Post A Comment

While the Writers Guild of America struggles to gain recognition for reality show workers, entertainment guild efforts to unionize telenovelas have taken another step forward.

Directors on Twentieth Television’s telenovela projects for MyNetworkTV have become signatory to the Directors Guild of America, the DGA confirmed.

With actors and crew already represented via the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, the DGA deal leaves writers as the only typically unionized talent not yet represented on the projects.

TelevisionWeek reported in March that telenovela writers are being called “translators” by producers seeking to avoid paying union rates for their services (TelevisionWeek, March 13).

The projects are based on Latin American titles but will be reworked for domestic audiences and shot in English. Each self-contained title is 65 episodes and will strip Monday through Friday in prime time over 13 weeks on MyNetworkTV.

The WGA and Twentieth had no comment.