Reality Producers Form New Trade Association

"Toddlers and Tiaras"

Former NATPE CEO Rick Feldman serves as executive director with a mandate to promote safe working conditions, fair wages, better training and create "best practices."

Reality TV in recent years has been the subject of controversy over the way it operates, uses people, manipulates subjects, and handles accidents and deaths related to productions. Now a group of producers have formed a new trade organization called the Nonfiction Producers Association to promote “best practices” within the nonfiction television industry.

Rick Feldman, a veteran TV industry executive, who for nine years was CEO of NATPE, has been appointed as executive director of the group, whose headquarters are in New York City. According to an announcement Tuesday, the NPA is “dedicated to maintaining, growing and nurturing the documentary and nonfiction TV production industry.”

The initial members include Jane Street Entertainment (Kitchen Casino), Original Media (Swamp People), True Entertainment (Fashion Queens), Magilla Entertainment (Southie Rules) as well as Atlas Media Corp., Big Fish Entertainment, Leftfield Pictures and Loud TV.

“The NPA, which has been in the planning stages for many months,” according to the announcement, “was created as a professional body that can provide industry information, training and assistance to production companies, their staffs and production employees.”

It will promote “best practices,” adds the announcement, “that ensure production employees, independent contractors, vendors and other stakeholders have a voice and platform for meaningful discourse that can encourage and contribute to the continued success and welfare of all parties within the nonfiction television industry.”

The NPA says member companies are “committed to providing a safe, supportive and professional working environment, fair and competitive wages, access to and contributions toward healthcare, controls on and recognition for hours worked, access to retirement options, and opportunities to foster training and communication.”