The post-production crew on Bravo and Ryan Seacrest Productions’ “Shahs of Sunset” has walked out on the show amid the desire to have their union recognized.
According to the Motion Picture Editors Guild, “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. After having received no response from the employer, the crew walked off the job on Wednesday morning.
“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., in a statement.
He continued, “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 strike occurs just one day after Bravo announced the show will return on Monday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. ET and released the first trailer.
As more nonfiction and entertainment employees search out union representation, there have been 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.
Less than a month ago, a similar strike succeeded in winning a contract for employees of CBS’s “Survivor.”
Other members of nonfiction and alternative programming have also sought union organization, such as the writers on E!’s “Fashion Police.”