Wife of 'Nashville' Crewmember Questions 'Emotional Toll' of Industry Work
The wife of a crewmember on ABC's Nashville is crying foul after her husband and some of his colleagues were not asked to return for the show's second season.
In an open letter to the entertainment industry, Micaela Bensko, wife of production supervisor Don Bensko, questioned the "emotional toll" long hours on set have on crewmembers and their families. She also wrote that Nashville producer Lionsgate TV replaced her husband and others without "a phone call or a thank-you for all they had done."
"The studios will argue they must shoot long hours because of their budget, the deadlines, the people that call them at midnight. The reality is, nothing is important when the humanity in the process is lost," she wrote.
Bensko wrote that even though their family was based in Los Angeles and the show shot in Tennessee, she considered the show "a blessing" because it allowed her husband to work. But the production "faced challenges," including delayed scripts and a crewmember's dangerous 20-foot fall, which she said could have resulted in his death.
"Why aren't shooting hours regulated so men don't fall from the sky?" she asked. "Why is it that so many suits, who are home by dinnertime to see their children, seem incapable of caring about people as much as their numbers?"
She went on to write that she did not "begrudge" the studio's decision to make changes to the crew: "I am just saddened in how they did it and even more-so by the fact that this is the norm."
She closed by thanking Nashville creator Callie Khouri, saying the Oscar winner called her husband when she heard the news.
"She made Don smile because she told him he mattered. She shared in the loss and that he will be missed," Bensko wrote. "And she reminded me, a production wife, that there are good people in this industry who truly do wish that they could make it different."
Nashville, which stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, premiered in October 2012 with 9 million viewers and a 2.8 ratings among adults 18 to 49. The country music soap was renewed earlier this month. It has been averaging a 1.9 in the ad-coveted adults 18 to 49 demo with 6 million total viewers. Its season finale airs Wednesday.
Lionsgate TV did not immediately respond to a request for comment.