'The Biggest Loser' shuts down production due to crew walkout

NBC’s The Biggest Loser has been forced to stop production because of a crew walkout that’s part of an ongoing effort to unionize, Deadline reports. The International Association of Theater and Stage Employees, the film and TV crew union, showed up on the set Monday and led the workers in the demonstration, forcing filming to stop. Production remains shut down while the union and production company Reveille negotiate behind the scenes.

UPDATE: Union confirms it is on strike against Biggest Loser

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  • Rolo Tomasi

    Cake for everyone.

    • Rowdy

      I’m kind of surprised that with all of the people out of work they’d stage a walkout now. I’m a moral democrat, but even i can see that unions [cough, Auto workers, cough] had a lot to do with the economic problems in the U.S..

      • Mimi

        oh give me a break. the non-unionized fat cats in the financial system are the ones who led to this eco downturn. But keep drinking that teaparty kool-aid, rowdy.

      • Rowdy

        No teaparty. I said I was a Democrat. Unions had a place, and a reason to exist decades ago. But, when you add the human element to a good idea, abuse begins. Unions protect some workers who should lose their jobs due to dishonesty, substance abuse etc. And there is no way that an auto worker who makes $50 an hour should have their health ins. covered for the rest of their life. Throw in the foreign trade policy and you’ve got yourself a mess. Unions are cutting their own throats and every one else’s wrists.

      • Hiro protagonist

        What will all the fatties do now????

      • charmuse

        Yeah that darn child labor was a real boon to society.

      • Daniel

        Because worker abuse stopped decades ago. No mega-corp abuses their workers. Good point. And by good point, I mean you are sorely mistaken.

      • HJ

        Agreed, Rowdy! Even a tiny amount of research would confirm this. Thanks for your input!

      • thin

        Yes, Rowdy. The need for unions is now completely over, because corporate owners now care about their bottom-rung workers and the age of taking advantage of them whenever possible has passed. There is no way that you could find a story of corporate abuse to match every instance of union greed. Take Wal-Mart, for example. Is there any finer example of a giant company that takes excellent care of their non-unionized employees?

    • Me

      This isn’t just about the unions going after people. This is about unsafe working conditions. Reality shows can work people 18 hours with very few breaks, little food and expect everyone to take it because it’s “TV” and you should be happy to work there. The pay rates vary, are not regulated and often companies are working people late without letting them acquire overtime pay which would be protected under union rules.

  • The Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    I thought maybe the crew finally grew a conscious and said enough with these ridiculous reality shows.

    • PJ

      Do you mean conscience, or do you think the crew has been asleep this whole time?

      • The Bob Loblaw Law Blog

        Hmm. Maybe a bit of both.

    • cici217

      Maybe Jillian once again screamed ‘If you don’t want to be here then GET OUT’ and the crew decided to take her advice.

    • old john

      I bet the walked right before the final weight appeared on the scale.

      And when the come back they have to re-do what they were doing for the 5 minutes before they walked out, before resuming their jobs.

      • racefan111

        Nice….Guess I am not the only one notices that they turn 90 min of material into 120 min show.

      • Dan

        You mean 45 minutes into 120 don’t you?

      • dentonitis

        I fast forward through the DVR recording in about 30 minutes. I briefly considered skipping the rest of the season entirely and just reading the recaps on EW, but now that’s out.

      • BL Fan

        Hey Losers, I ask any of you here this: Did anyone MAKE YOU WATCH BIGGEST LOSER? I think NOT! So stop ragging on the show already. With millions out of work the crew of this show sure has the balls to do what they did. I am out of work, I will tak their job like it is……anyone care to join me?

  • DF

    I’m surprised the crew didnt run out, then slow down to a walk out, only to collapse in a pass out.

  • Ha

    That probably just put the nail in this tired shows coffin. Is it really a smart idea on the crews part to walk out on a show that is on the cusp of being canceled anyway?

    • honestrob


      It’s NBC’s most profitable show.
      They make MILLIONS off of this franchise. It’s not getting canceled any time soon.

    • Preston

      Then they need to replace it with a sitcom or a drama, scripted please! They should know that the reality shows on their network have lost a lot of viewers this season, even The Apprentice, which is stuck between 80th and 91st place.

      • Holly

        Uh, it IS scripted. You didn’t think these things were really unscripted, did you? All of the characters’ interactions, and the “drama” are crafted by the writers.

  • bill Stewart

    I thought maybe they grew fed up with the self righteous attitudes of the trainers. I stopped watching because of that and the sooo subtle product placement. Bleeech.

  • Mary

    How was the crew not Union in the first place?

    • Mo

      That was my question@Mary

    • Runedune

      Such is the world of “Reality TV”. These crews work in horrible conditions for slave wages because the networks want cheap product to replace the quality shows that have been replaced.

      • Holly

        Ok, let’s get some perspective here – by “horrible conditions” you mean the food is Subway instead of Wolfgang Puck, and they have to drink regular coffee instead of Starbucks Caramel Machiattos, right? We’re not exactly talking about Indonesian sweat-shops here….

      • CC

        Bull crap Holly. As someone who works in Reality, there is regularly no craft services. More importantly, no benefits, crappy long hours and lower pay. Hence why reality became so dominant with networks. It was cheaper, stupid!

      • thin

        No, Holly is definitely right here. There is only one kind of bad working condition, and that’s a sweatshop. Long days of working with heavy equipment and low pay clearly do not qualify.

  • Kayde_Lyn

    Reality TV doesn’t operate the same as other types of television. Different contracts, union issues, etc. There is also more money to be made working in reality television, so can’t fault people for working in it.

    • Preston

      It’s a lot different than a scripted show that goes for a 22-episode run every season. I think that the networks got so riled up with the reality shows pulling in 20 million viewers back in 2000 because it was so cheap to produce than a very expensive production of a new scripted sitcom or drama. And they went for it and flooded their lineups with several of them and some copycats.

    • thin

      There’s a lot more money to be made for the people at the top, and the reason for that is that they do it at the expense of the people “starring” in and actually making the shows.

  • redvector

    When I saw the headline I thought that the trainers or the contestants walked out.

    • Jenay

      Never would have thunk I would find this so insidpesnable.

  • Voice of Reason

    The show lost its luster 6 seasons ago. Time to think of something else, NBC.

  • needs to lose a few

    Bummer. I work out every Tuesday during this show. If 400 lb people can do this then I can as well. Good luck with unionizing. I have mixed feelings on that.

  • Dan

    Notice that even EW no longer recaps this show. People are tired of it and it’s ridiculous trainers. Used to enjoy the show. Now we just tune in the last 5 minutes.

  • Joan Holloway

    On a side note, what happened the recaps for this show? I miss them!

    • needs to lose a few

      If you search Biggest Loser (upper right corner) the very last recap might still come up. It did a couple of weeks ago.

  • Gon

    big loss…

  • Preston

    Any reason why it’s fallen to 46th or 50th place the past few fall airings? I think it’s wearing thin and I’m not surprised by the crew walkout.

    • cici217

      Used to enjoy watching the show, but as it became popular the contestants started to focus more on being reality ‘stars’ than trying to lose weight. It really changed the dynamics of the show and reminded you that it was a game show first and not a weight loss show. Which is too bad. Some still get it, but too many others have ruined it. And Bob/Jillian let stardom get to their heads as well. Alison is the only one who seems to stay grounded.

      • Bibi

        Plus the trainers have gotten less appealing, the product placement is annoying, there is way too much “game play” and the program is way too long. I still DVR it, but only watch the challenges and fast forward through most of the rest of it. It’s a shame. It was once so inspiring.

      • wakeforce

        It is on the same time as Glee and NCIS, and the Dancing with the Stars results show. Those shows are very popular.

  • John

    I am watching it via on-demand and DVR this year and the Frado and Brendan gameplay really is turning me off. It would be nice if they went to straight weight loss.

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