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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 09:24 GMT 10:24 UK
Reality TV writers sue producers
The Bachelor
The producers of The Bachelor are among those named in the lawsuit
Hollywood writers have filed a lawsuit against producers of TV reality shows, accusing them of violating labour laws.

The lawsuit, filed by 12 writers, claims they were denied overtime pay and breaks and were told to falsify time cards.

The writers are trying to pile pressure on producers to agree to an industry- wide contract for those who "write" the supposedly unscripted shows.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

'Sweatshop' conditions

It was filed against several production companies, including Telepictures Productions which produced The Bachelor, as well as several networks, including ABC, CBS, WB and Turner Broadcasting System.

The suit also claims the writers have experienced "sweatshop" conditions, often working 80-hour weeks without overtime pay or breaks and meal breaks as required by law.

It requests unpaid wages and overtime, civil penalties and punitive damages.

Representatives of CBS, the WB, Next Entertainment and Telepictures declined to comment.

Daniel Petrie Jnr, of the Writers Guild of America, which assisted in filing the lawsuit, said: "What we're responding to is conditions that outrage the conscience."

He added that the Guild was prepared to help in the filing of several more suits if producers do not agree to talks.




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