"Survivor" editors go on strike six weeks before the new season of the show is scheduled to kick off. That post-production crew of the long-running reality competition series walked off the job on Wednesday morning, August 13 as they seek a union contract with health and retirement benefit.
"The post crew of CBS' #Survivor has walked off the job, halting post for an IATSE contract," the guild tweeted, adding that no editorial work would resume on the series until Mark Burnett's Island Post Prods. Inc. agrees to a union contract.
The Guild already notified the "Survivor" producers on Tuesday that the editors wanted a union contract and asked that negotiations start immediately. When their one-page letter didn't receive a reply, they went on a strike with picketing lines having been set up outside the Santa Monica headquarters of the production company.
"People stayed on the job yesterday out of respect for the long relationship with the show, but respect has to go both ways," a source told Deadline which first reported the news.
Editors Guild President Alan Heim, A.C.E. said in a statement, "This wildly successful program has helped to define the genre of reality television, and editors play a critical role in shaping the show. They seek the same health benefits, pensions, and basic protections that their counterparts elsewhere in the industry have long enjoyed. After 28 successful seasons and 16 Emmy nominations, that doesn't seem too much to ask."
A.J. Catoline, a reality TV editor and member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild Board of Directors, chimed in, "This show has no hidden immunity idol. It needs to bring its employment practices in line with the industry standards observed by other such shows, including CBS' 'Big Brother' and Mark Burnett's 'The Voice'. Its post crew deserves the benefits and security of a union contract."
Post-production work on the extended 90-minute season premiere has not been completed yet and long negotiations may cause a delay on the season 29 debut, which is set for September 24.