Writers Guild Focuses Reality Unionizing Efforts on ‘Idol’

Jul 10, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Writers Guild of America is targeting TV’s top-rated show as part of its ongoing effort to unionize reality and game show writers.
On Wednesday, the WGA West began e-mailing unscripted workers to urge them to participate in what it’s calling the “American Idol Truth Tour.” Starting with next week’s “Idol” auditions in San Francisco, the guild plans to shadow the show’s judges and producers as they hold auditions for the 2009 season over the next few weeks.
“Hundreds of supporters will be traveling around the country to ‘American Idol’ auditions to expose FremantleMedia’s unfair treatment of its workers,” the guild said in the e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by TelevisionWeek.
FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment produce “Idol” for Fox.
The WGA plans to hold a news conference July 16 to formally kick off the tour. A rally will follow the next day outside San Francisco’s Cow Palace, site of the “Idol” auditions.
A copy of the WGA e-mail follows:
Dear Game Show & ‘Reality’ Television Writers,
The Writers Guild of America, West continues to fight for WGA-coverage of all ‘reality’ & game shows. The WGAW stands with you to demand that production companies like FremantleMedia respect you with industry standard benefits.
The WGA’s Network Organizing Committee (NOC) is shining a light on FremantleMedia’s unfair treatment of its writers. FremantleMedia’s marquee show, “American Idol,” is conducting its Season 8 national auditions. WGAW members and reality & game show writers will be joined by Teamsters Local 399 & other labor allies on the American Idol Truth Tour.
Hundreds of supporters will be traveling around the country to “American Idol” auditions to expose FremantleMedia’s unfair treatment of its workers.
The first stop of the American Idol Truth Tour is San Francisco, CA. On Wednesday, July 16, reality & game show writers, WGAW members, Teamsters and other allies will be leaving Los Angeles for the first stop on the American Idol Truth Tour.
Come & get on the bus!
Two large events will kick off the Truth Tour:
American Idol Truth Tour Kick-Off Press Conference
Wednesday, July 16 @ 10 a.m.
WGAW multi-purpose room, 7000 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles
***Bus to San Francisco leaves immediately after the press conference. Transportation, food, and hotel will be provided.***
American Idol Truth Tour Rally
Thursday, July 17 @ 11 a.m.
Outside the Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA
***Bus to Los Angeles will leave after the rally and arrive in Los Angeles by 11 p.m. Thursday night.***


  1. As usual these unions will not be satisfied until they run everybody out of the country. Too bad, Hollywood; you had a good run.

  2. WOW! They just keep pushing & pushing. The Union guys have a good idea. They want production people to pay outragious salaries & fees so they will go out of business, or take and go elsewhere where they can make a profit and the union people will be putting all of their members out of work. Then what? Do you think that they will be happy then?
    The unions are, or were good for people for a while, but in certain industries like entertainment, it just does’nt make sense.
    Shame on you Union. Please do not put hollywood out of business and destroy what was the Entertainment capital of the world.

  3. I work union and non union gigs. Guess which producers skip out on paying salary and equipment rental? Which producers go no/lo? Would you as a producer work for no/lo on a multi million dollar production? A union crew is superior to a non union.

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