Report: 'Biggest Loser' Bringing in Replacement Workers
Producers of NBC's The Biggest Loser are bringing in non-union workers to replace striking crew members this week.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees launched a walkout of the reality series on Monday, effectively shutting down production for the week.
But Biggest Loser director of photography Vanessa Holtgrewe says the work stoppage will not last long. Holtgrewe wrote in an email obtained by the Los Angeles Times, "The companies that produce Biggest Loser have decided to replace everyone with scabs and try and limp along as a non-union production. These companies, 3Ball and Reveille, who have produced union shows in the past, are willing to fire 50 to 60 people that have worked for them for years."
Pension and health benefits are at the crux of below-the-line employees' demands for a union contract. Wardrobe supervisor Erin Barrow told The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, "on a show that's about health, to not offer a health plan flies in the face of what (the show) is doing."
Both union and non-union crew members voted to authorize the strike.