[07/21/06 - 12:00 AM]
Writers at CW's America's Next Top Model Strike to Secure Fair Wgaw Contract

[via press release from WGA]

Writers at CW's America's Next Top Model Strike to Secure Fair WGAw Contract

LOS ANGELES -- With the support of the Writers Guild of America, west (WGAw), the writers on America's Next Top Model (ANTM) - one of the CW network's most anticipated, highest-rated shows this fall - have gone on strike to demand a WGA union contract.

�We are the overwhelming majority of those in the story department on America's Next Top Model who want to be represented by the WGAw. While we are all very committed to this show, and we are proud of the work we do, we are taking a stand to get basic benefits and protections,� said the writers on America's Next Top Model in a joint statement.

�We have asked the Writers Guild of America, west to represent us and negotiate a fair contract that is both economically feasible and affords our story department the protections of a guild contract, including fair minimums, health insurance, pension benefits, residuals, and credits.�

�We have no interest in jeopardizing our positive working relationship. But what we are asking for isn't unreasonable. There is a double standard being applied as our peers in dramatic television work under the protections of a WGA contract. We should too,� added the ANTM writers.

�These writers merely want what other writers in this industry already have: health insurance, a portable pension, residuals, and fair pay. To achieve this, they have taken the brave step that no writer should ever be forced to do: they put their pens down and picked up picket signs. For this determination, guild writers everywhere salute them and support them,� said WGAw President Patric M. Verrone.

After receiving multiple notices and letters asking for union recognition, ANTM executive producer Ken Mok refused to recognize and negotiate with the show's writers or the WGAw. The show's editors are already covered by IATSE Local 700.

The current ANTM writer strike is the latest chapter in the WGAw's ongoing campaign to maintain and improve standards within the entertainment industry, including efforts to organize reality TV, cable, animation, videogames, and other cutting-edge technological platforms, such as mobisodes and digital downloads.

The Writers Guild of America, west (WGAw) represents writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news. The union conducts numerous programs, seminars, and events throughout the world on issues of interest to, and on behalf of, writers.

For more information go to www.realityunited.com.

  [july 2006]  


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