Press Room

Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Friday October 2, 2015

4,600+ People Petition Spike TV over INK MASTER prodco Original Media

NEW YORK, NY (September 28, 2015) – The Writers Guild of America, East today sent a petition to Spike TV President Kevin Kay signed by more than 4,600 people calling on his network to support the men and women who write and produce INK MASTER.

The petition reads, “Spike TV has a hit show with “Ink Master,” which is made by men and women who work for the production company Original Media. Since Spike is the network that contracts Original Media to produce “Ink Master,” we believe it is Spike’s responsibility to ensure

Original doesn’t violate the rights of “Ink Master” writers and producers.

“More than a year ago, the writers and producers at Original Media voted to unionize to get collectively bargained health insurance, among other things. Instead of honoring this decision, Original crammed a substandard health care plan down employees’ throats, which led the NLRB General Counsel to issue a complaint alleging that Original violated federal labor law.

“At the same time, dozens of Original Media employees have filed statements with state authorities detailing massive wage theft—potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid overtime. And Original is a defendant in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by an “Ink Master” employee.

“We do not believe that Spike TV can ignore these major potential violations of the rights of Original Media’s employees. Spike should not benefit from Original’s refusal to negotiate a reasonable, industry-standard collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). We call on Spike to take responsibility to ensure that Original respects the law and inks a fair deal with the union.”

The public’s vocal support for writer-producers at Original Media will be on display during a planned protest at the live finale of INK MASTER, which takes place on Tuesday, October 13th, in New York City.

“Production companies like Original and networks like Spike need to understand that audiences care about the people who make the shows they watch,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “The writer-producers at Original voted overwhelmingly for WGAE representation and the WGAE knows how to negotiate good contracts in this part of the industry. Hopefully this petition will be a wakeup call to the company to stop breaching its employees’ rights and to reach an agreement.”

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit

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