Writers Guild Protests American Idol Auditions, Group Says Show Underpays Workers

According to recent reports The Writers Guild of America has begun a nationwide protest of the hit reality show American Idol. The show which closed out yet another well received season has come under fire for allegedly underpaying workers. As part of a long-simmering feud between the union and producers of many reality shows the Writers Guild has chartered a “Truth Tour” bus to follow the audition tour of the hit show, which began in San Francisco this week. According the BBC, The WGA has sought to represent reality show workers since 2005, arguing the work they do is a form of writing. Many reality TV shows are not covered by WGA contracts, unlike scripted dramas and comedies. But the union alleges that employees, such as production assistants and editors, write scenarios and outlines. The bus, carrying about 50 protesters, traveled from Los Angeles to San Francisco, on Wednesday, where the first audition for the next series of American Idol was being held. Justin Buckles, 29, a former production assistant on the show, said he brought scripts to host Ryan Seacrest as part of a work day which often lasted 15 to 20 hours. “You need to stand up for yourself, and that’s what I’m doing at this point,” he said. American Idol became a platform for superstars such as Fantasia, Carrie Underwood and current chart topping sensation Jordin Sparks.


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