Vox Entertainment Unionizes with WGA East
NEW YORK, NY (JULY 15, 2019)—The writer-producers at Vox Entertainment, the nonfiction production company affiliated with Vox Media, Inc., today announced they have unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). A clear majority of the 49-member staff signed union cards and management agreed to voluntarily recognize the Guild as its collective bargaining representative.
Vox Entertainment develops and produces original programming independently and in collaboration with Vox Media’s editorial network, which includes Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Verge and Vox.com. Vox Entertainment currently produces “Explained” on Netflix, “No Passport Required with Marcus Samuelsson” on PBS and “Consider It” on Facebook Watch, among a growing slate of nonfiction programs appearing on both traditional and new media platforms.
One month ago, Vox Media’s 350-member editorial unit ratified a landmark collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East. In an article titled “How to Save Journalism,” The New Republic noted Vox Media’s “victory added up to more than generous new salary increases and severance provisions. It was, just as important, an occasion for solidarity across the media industry.”
Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, “Vox Media’s strategy contemplates continued extension into television and video production, and we are pleased to represent the writer-producers and others who craft these programs. These hard-working folks have joined the movement to ensure that careers in nonfiction television and video are sustainable and fulfilling.”
The organizing at Vox Entertainment marks the first time that showrunners in nonfiction television have been included in the union—a standard that was set by their counterparts in scripted television. Claire Gordon, showrunner on “Explained,” added, “As a showrunner, I’m proud to be a part of the union and I stand with the team at Vox as a creative person in an industry that is tough on freelancers.”
Will Storey, producer on “Consider It,” added, “I’m proud to work at a company with high standards, one that realizes the way to survive and thrive in an uncertain media landscape is to respect the solidarity that already exists on set. As a unit, we are ready to advocate for the benefits freelance producers deserve, including affordable and portable healthcare.”
In addition to Vox Entertainment, the WGAE has collective bargaining agreements with nonfiction television entities Viceland, Peacock Productions, Optomen Productions, Lion Television, Sharp Entertainment and represents writer-producers at ITV’s Kirkstall Road Enterprises and Leftfield Pictures.
ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, news and new media. 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 wgaeast.org.