WGA pickets 'Idol' to face reality


The WGA is getting out the picket signs again.

The guild will protest outside today's live telecast of "American Idol" in Los Angeles.

The WGA called on producer FremantleMedia North America to "treat its 'reality' TV writers and other workers with respect by improving working conditions and providing health care and pension benefits."

"Many Fremantle workers do not receive benefits that are standard in the entertainment industry including minimum compensation, health insurance and retirement benefits," the guild said. "Fremantle has also chosen to use nonunion drivers who work excessive overtime without proper rest periods or drug and alcohol testing."

Having dropped the reality issue in the final days of negotiations during the 100-day writers strike, organizing reality workers clearly remains a WGA goal.

The move follows a recent settlement of a WGA-supported lawsuit between hundreds of reality TV workers and several networks and production companies. (partialdiff)