‘Ridiculousness’ Writers Vote Unanimously to Unionize

The writing staff of the viral MTV clip show filed an initial motion with the NLRB this summer

Danny Way and Rob Dyrdek of Ridiculousness
MTV/Paramount Media Network

The writers of MTV’s unscripted series “Ridiculousness” voted unanimously to unionize, a rep from the National Labor Relations Board told TheWrap on Tuesday.

The MTV staple, which also has a number of spinoffs and foreign versions that air around the world, is hosted and produced by Rob Dyrdek, whose Superjacket Productions recently rebranded as Thrill One Media.

The vote, which took place on Monday by secret ballot, ended with eight votes in favor of union representation and zero against. There were two challenged ballots, which won’t be counted, because they aren’t determinative, the NLRB said.

The parties have five business days to file objections. If no objections are filed, the results will be certified and the employer must bargain in good faith with the union.

Striking scripted writer David Slack, who was an executive producer on “MacGyver” and co-executive producer on “Person on Interest,” tweeted, “Writers of Ridiculousness: Welcome to the WGA! #WGAStrong

Unscripted writers have traditionally not been part of the WGA, although there have been precedents. Staff at Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions and Sharp Entertainment, who produce TLC’s “90 Day Fiancé,” are already part of WGA East. Writer-producers at BSTV, who are behind two Food Network series, unionized in March.

A rep for Paramount previously told the TheWrap that none of the writers on “Ridiculousness” are directly employed by the studio or MTV. The paperwork was filed on behalf of 11 employees of Purple Shark, LLC, a subsidiary of Superjacket Productions, according to the documentation on the NLRB site.

The move comes as the WGA strike entered its fourth month and amidst a bigger push by reality stars like Bethenny Frankel to join SAG-AFTRA and production crews of unscripted series are increasingly walking out to demand better wages and working conditions.

Production on Season 28 of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” shut down in Long Island City, New York, in August as crew members affiliated with IATSE went on strike against Bright Road Productions.

The group said that the company “refuses to serve up fair wages and benefits!” adding: “For far too long, crews of unscripted TV have gone without industry-standard wages and benefits. Now, they’re coming together to demand better.”

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