Reality TV has broadly been unaffected by the ongoing writers' and actors' strikes. But that doesn't mean it's without its own labor issues.
A new strike has shut down an upcoming season of Food Network's Worst Cooks in America, a show that takes hapless cooks and has them compete in the kitchen for a $25,000 prize. Around 50 crew members affiliated with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have gone on strike, looking for recognition of their union and a union contract, according to IATSE.
"The crew of Worst Cooks in America are on strike in Long Island City as Bright Road Productions refuses to serve up fair wages and benefits," IATSE posted on social media on Friday. "For far too long, crews of unscripted TV have gone without industry-standard wages and benefits! Now, they're coming together to demand better."
🚨STRIKE ALERT: The crew of 'Worst Cooks in America' are on strike in Long Island City as Bright Road Productions refuses to serve up fair wages and benefits! pic.twitter.com/Z2SgA01OXR
— IATSE // #IASolidarity (@IATSE) August 18, 2023
The IATSE made one attempt to negotiate pay and benefits for the crew, but it did not succeed, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The result is a work stoppage, with members of the camera department, grip and electric department, and set decoration department reportedly taking part.
"As a result of the IATSE's demand for recognition on behalf of the production crew and our inability to reach agreement with the union, Season 28 of Worst Cooks in America has shut down," production company Objective Media Group told EW in a statement.
Representatives Food Network did not respond to EW's requests for comment.
Food Network Worst Cooks in America
This strike is taking place as the WGA strike hits day 112, SAG-AFTRA picketers enter day 39, Marvel VFX workers have filed for a union, and former Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel calls for reality TV stars to unionize (and many reality stars are demanding to be released from NDAs with NBCUniversal).
Worst Cooks in America season 26 is currently airing on Food Network.
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