Once again, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has found itself at the center of an outraged protest — and this time, there’s a “Sharknado” slant to the demonstration.
As production of Syfy’s upcoming “Sharknado 3” attempted to film in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees [IATSE] workers on the production walked off the job in protest of the working conditions on the third installment of the camp-tastic disaster franchise. Workers will picket the production as it attempts to shoot in the nation’s capital.
The walk-off follows a strike last week that saw production of the film shut down on the West Coast. Workers are asking for benefits, as well as standardized wages and working conditions.
According to IATSE, “Sharknado 2” was produced under an IATSE contract, but The Asylum, the production company behind the “Sharknado” franchise, fired the crew after they voted for union representation earlier this month.
IATSE says that The Asylum has been forced to rewrite a number of scenes, extend their shooting schedule and scale back production in the wake of the protests.
“Representatives of the IATSE and its local unions will be present whenever and wherever this production attempts to film in and around Washington, D.C.,” Dan Mahoney, assistant director of IATSE’s Motion Picture Department, said. “We will not forget how The Asylum treated their employees when they asked for the same union benefits and protections that were provided to the crew on ‘Sharknado 2’. It is employees working for anti-worker companies like The Asylum who need the enforceable working conditions and protections of a union agreement the most.”
The third installment of the “Sharknado” series has cast Mark Cuban as the President of the United States and Ann Coulter as the Vice President. “Baywatch” icon David Hasselhoff has also been cast in the production, playing the father of Ian Ziering‘s character.
Shooting for “Sharknado 3” is scheduled for the next three days.