Last Comic Standing strike

The editing team of the show the Last Comic Standing picketed outside the Hollywood Production Center, where the show is edited, in Glendale on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The editors are walked out on Monday, April 21 in hopes of joining the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 700 union. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / April 22, 2014)

Union members turned out to support the editing team behind the NBC reality show “Last Comic Standing” on Tuesday and picketed outside the Hollywood Production Center in Glendale for the workers’ right to unionize.

Fifteen editors and assistant editors walked out of the cutting room on Monday in hopes of joining International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 700.

By signing a contract with a union, the crew would gain health and retirement benefits and guaranteed pay for overtime, said Rob Callahan, an organizer with the Motion Picture Editors Guild.

He was one of a crowd of about 25 people made up mostly of union members carrying picket signs outside the Hollywood Production Center on Lexington Drive. The company also has a site on Broadway in Glendale.

“For a show that’s this high profile, that’s going to be on a broadcast network and primetime, we think it’s not all funny that (NBCUniversal) should try to get away with hiring people without providing them basic union security and guarantees,” Callahan said.

NBCUniversal would not immediately comment on the matter, said Nate Kirtman, senior vice president of public relations.

“Last Comic Standing” is in the process of being rebooted after its original run from 2003-10.

Roseanne Barr, J.B. Smoove and Russell Peters will be among the judges for the new season, scheduled to premiere on May 22.


Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.


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