“Survivor” editors halt production over contract demands

Editors working on the upcoming 29th season of Survivor have walked off the job, demanding that post producers for the CBS reality series agree to health and retirement benefits.
August 13, 2014

Editors working on the upcoming 29th season of Survivor have walked off the job until post producers for the CBS reality series agree to a union contract.

On Tuesday (August 12), the Motion Picture Editors Guild and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) sent a letter to producer Mark Burnett’s Island Post Productions demanding health and retirement benefits. According to a statement issued today (August 13), they have now halted production.

Editors for the long-running series have authorized IATSE to negotiate on their behalf, according to an organization. Representatives at CBS, which airs Survivor, and Mark Burnett Productions, did not respond to realscreen‘s requests for comment at press time.

In a statement, A.J. Catoline, a reality TV editor and member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild’s board of directors, said Survivor¬†“needs to bring its employment practices in line with the industry standards observed by other such shows, including CBS’s Big Brother and Mark Burnett’s The Voice. Its post crew deserves the benefits and security of a union contract.”

Survivor: San Juan del Sur is scheduled to begin airing on CBS on September 24. Editors were working on the 90-minute premiere episode at the time of the work stoppage and are refusing to resume work until a contract is reached, their statement adds.

Several members of the show’s editorial team are up for a Creative Arts Emmy this year. Frederick Hawthorne, Joubin Mortazavi, Evan Mediuch, Dave Armstrong, Andrew Bolhuis, Tim Atzinger and Plowden Schumacher have been nominated in the outstanding picture editing for reality programming category.

Last November, IATSE negotiated a contract for the crew of Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid after editors walked off the job for six days.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.