Disgruntled Musicians Sue

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Yesterday in Los Angeles, the American Federation of Musicians filed suit against the producers of FOX Television’s American Idol. The union claims that musicians on the show are being underpaid for re-recordings broadcasted as show reruns. Yesterday in Los Angeles, the American Federation of Musicians filed suit against the producers of FOX Television’s American Idol. The union claims that musicians on the show are being underpaid for re-recordings broadcasted as show reruns.

The federal lawsuit against American Idol Productions, Inc., as well as a subsidiary, Tick Tock Productions, Inc., asserts that the two companies are in violation of a collective bargaining agreement made between the companies and musicians. The contract in violation holds that musicians appearing on the show and in rehearsal should be paid royalties for all rebroadcasts of the show. Under the same agreement, the musicians on American Idol are entitled to 75% of scale of the original show on which they appear. An additional 10% of the musicians’ 75% share is paid to the Musicians Union pension fund. Any future re-broadcasts of the show allow the musicians decreasing percentages of scale.

Apparently the funny business started in 2007, when the show’s producers began cutting the original soundtrack to the show and using different musicians to record new music for past-season highlights, such as “American Idol Rewind” — without informing the union. In doing so, the show avoided paying the original musicians what was due to them as members of the original cast. Text “0001” with your vote of who should win.

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