Hollywood Crew Demand Better Safety Guidelines Over Production-Related Deaths; IATSE Says THIS

Film crew safety a top concern in upcoming IATSE negotiations. Union pushes for better working conditions, wages & benefits after on-set injuries.

Updated on May 28, 2024  |  02:16 PM IST |  40.8K
Hollywood Crew Demand Better Safety Guidelines Over Production-Related Deaths
Hollywood Crew Demand Better Safety Guidelines (PC: Instagram/IATSE)

In a world of competitiveness, especially in the film industry, producers and studios want to make sure to wrap up the project in fewer days. That's something understandable. We get the point that it’s necessary to think about budget and everything irrespective of how big a studio is. But what about the safety and working hour ethics of the crew of a film on the set? Well, it’s been a topic of debate and discussion that safety measures are very low for the crew members. They have been demanding and compromises are being made. Amidst, multiple deaths and injuries, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has made demands for better safety, and negotiations are going on.  

Crew demands better safety and IATSE responds 

While we watch an exciting movie full of stunts or character-driven movies or, it may be some other genres, we enjoy what was shown to us on the big screen. But what goes behind the final output, particularly from the crews goes unnoticed. We forget to recognize their hard work, and overwork to make that movie a worthy watch for the audiences. 

And, what is most important is the safety of those crew members. But it has been often in the news that the studios or producers make them work beyond their daily schedule and that reflects in their health and in personal lives. 

Generally, a 10-12 hour work on set is mandatory for the crew members who are basically manual workers. But this timing is just on paper. Actually, most often it goes above that. And that’s where the issues arise. 


The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) will have yet another sitting with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in June for negotiations. Safety concerns are the most important matter of discussion, with IATSE emphasizing the need for significant improvements in working conditions.

In a weekend memo to members, IATSE described this phase of negotiations as “more complex and consequential, as they encompass the larger and most important issues impacting the crafts.”

The union is arguing for protections against the expanding impact of artificial intelligence in the film and television industries, even as wage increases and improving health and pension plans remain top objectives. A 401(k) retirement savings plan, stricter enforcement of rest period violations, and better sick leave regulations are among the top priorities.

IATSE stressed to “secure a substantial amount of additional income” for the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans. This comes after last year's work stoppages reduced employer contributions at a time when claims were on the rise.


Some instances of crews facing problems due to overwork

Such cases don’t stem from one particular day or it’s not that every day, they face bad experiences. But some works are so dangerous that, an unfortunate day is enough to go against one’s fate. 

Several times, such incidents happened. For example, Chris Walters, one worker who joined the entertainment industry at a younger age told Rolling Stone how consecutive overwork and night shift once almost took his life as he drifted across lanes of traffic and hit a guardrail. “I’m very thankful that I’m able to tell that story,” Walters told the outlet. Following that incident, he quit the industry thinking about more stability for his family. 

Rico Priem, one crew member on 9-1-1 died earlier this month in a car accident on the highway following a 14-hour overnight shift, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "No one should be put in unsafe circumstances while trying to earn a living,” IATSE said in its statement. 


J.C. “Spike” Osorio, another crew member of Marvel’s Wonder Man series, died when he fell through a wooden catwalk. 

At least 194 "serious accidents" and at least 43 deaths were recorded on movie and television sets between 1990 and 2014, according to an Associated Press article from 2016.

We are well aware of the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins from the set of Rust. Alec Baldwin misfired a prop gun on the set and recently a New Mexico judge has rejected a request from the actor to dismiss the only criminal charge against him. However, Baldwin has mentioned in several interviews that the revolver "went off" on its own and he did not pull the trigger. 

There are many such examples of tragic on-set unfortunate cases and that's what the crew members have been demanding, to give assurance of more safety. 

ALSO READ: Social Network Star Jesse Eisenberg Reveals He Applied For Polish Citizenship Nine Months Ago; Here's Why

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Prantik, a seasoned Hollywood content writer at Pinkvilla, boasts a wealth of experience garnered over four years in the



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