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National law organization fighting for the right to a healthy environment earth justice attorneys take polluters and the government to court no matter who's in office earth justice because the earth needs a good lawyer welcome to the frame I'm John horn this is a segment that aired earlier this month but it's a topic that's so important we think it merits an encore assistance in the entertainment industry are overworked underpaid physically abused and often have to run personal errands for their bosses even after they leave work for the day that's according to a new survey of more than fifteen hundred assistance released by a grassroots movement called pay up Hollywood Katie Kilkenny as an associate editor at The Hollywood Reporter where she covers labor and she explains how the movement grew out of an episode of our podcast about screenwriting called script notes any assistant road and saying you know I think one of the big issues that's going to be coming forward in in the next few decades in Hollywood is that we're gonna have to talk about the low pay that assistance are facing and how that is related to rising cost of living in Los Angeles and from there the host which are John Augustine crate Mason who are both really powerful writers in Hollywood read that note and asked for more people to talk about their stories of being an assistant Los Angeles and they just got an overwhelming amount of email and a writer named Liz author who is on the board of the writers guild of America started a hashtag called actually pay a poly what so a couple days before thanksgiving script notes facilitated a pay up Hollywood town hall where assistance had a chance to talk about some of the issues and here's what one woman who didn't provide her name had to say about Bernau we almost have like three jobs at once like not only are we working our day job for forty to sixty hours a week and not making enough and then there for doing work on the side like babysitting driving xterra but we also have the work of our own careers and I think that is like what leads that burn out his were not only expected to have the state job that like puts all these things in place for us to move forward and on top of that were expected to have like an hour to write a day or or to find our own short films and make them on the weekends like that is just impossible I think impossible then afterward for what she's describing what were some of the other issues that came up around the hash tag around the town hall so I think a big one is the question of access you know Hollywood has been talking a lot about its diversity issues and wanting to get more folks into the pipeline backgrounds but what we're looking at here is a situation where you have to be able to afford to be an assistant in the first place to get that first like up in the industry and so Hollywood has just released a survey of one thousand five hundred and fifty one assistance and they found that seventy eight percent of the people who were surveyed were white and that fifty two percent were receiving financial aid from family and friends to make ends meet as they were assistance in Hollywood so I think we're seeing that this industry in order to diversify does have to become more accessible more economically accessible to folks who aren't coming in with with that aid so that to me was notable as well as the fact that a lot of assistance were also talking about this sort of demeaning work conditions that were expected of them you know Hollywood has to pay your dues culture and I think a lot of folks remember ask some difficult work conditions when their assistance and so sort of expect that their assistance walk to go through that as well but in this survey it showed that a hundred and four respondents had an object thrown at them in the workplace so I think that we're looking at conditions were systems are not only being pretty badly paid but also they are facing work conditions that are pretty rocks we're talking with Katie Kilkenny at The Hollywood Reporter about pay up Hollywood there are other things that really jumped out to me one is that almost ninety three percent of those people surveyed said they work more than forty hours a week and fifteen percent said they were working more than sixty hours a week and here is something that was really troubling almost a quarter said that they had reported an increase in substance abuse so it sounds like the job is really taking a terrible toll on the people who are in this line of work completely I mean I I think these numbers sort of show is something that you know assistance have been talking to each other about for a long time and so I think for a lot of assistance this is not a surprise but this survey really shines a light on some of these issues and the fact that things need to change and it sounds like some show runners are actually saying this is unsustainable and maybe even immoral absolutely so I talked to a few folks who'd been vocal on Twitter at their support and basically found out what I was talking to them that they were advocating for higher wages on projects that are currently developing and these are Adam Conner thanks my notes from two TV's Adam ruins everything David H. Steinberg who was a kosher runner on Netflix is no good neck and the writer producer creator I went Waltman who was an executive producer on Netflix is unbelievable well then it's a killer told me that she was trying to get her assistance twenty dollars an hour plus benefits and however it was saying that he was trying to adjust various aspects of the job to make it more tenable you said in your story that you had reached out to the major studios and talent agencies for comment and let's just say they weren't flooding the phone lines calling back have any of them had anything to say one agency is doing something and they didn't provide comment for this story but you know I heard by sources that for which is the talent agency that represents spoke on August who helped create this movement as well as live soccer who coined the hash tag has conducted an anonymous survey of their systems and I will also be receiving and looking at the results of the Hollywood survey and I imagine that in weeks to come others will speak up more but for now they are remaining mum and even if the hours are horrible the working conditions aren't great a lot of people want these jobs right because it's so hard to get in the business and this is one possible path for people who want to become creative people in Hollywood definitely there extremely competitive jobs and and often a line that is used with assistance you want to speak out about work conditions is that you no there were thousands that will take your place but it's gotten to the point where the wages are the same as they were twenty years ago in some cases that's what we're hearing from a lot of the stories Walt the cost of living in Los Angeles has skyrocketed and so these assistance argument is that the situation is untenable at this point Katie kill can a is an associate editor at The Hollywood Reporter Katie thanks so much for coming on the show thanks.

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