The Trump administration may have decided to ignore the pandemic in order to “reopen the economy,” but meanwhile, thousands of workers around the country are still being laid off with no safety net. Among them are now crew members on Rachael Ray, who say executives are failing to keep their promise of paying them through the end of the season.
According to Buzzfeed, the need for the show’s crew obviously dwindled as Ray began filming her show at home in March; initially, the staff was told production would return to the studio in New York in November. But Ray has since decided to keep shooting at home, and now, executives are backpedaling, telling 20 people they won’t be paid as promised.
“My savings is dwindling,” one crew member said. “I’m not going to be able to pay my bills, and then in the next six months I won’t have worked enough union hours to cover my health insurance.”
Though the crew respects Ray’s hesitance to return to the studio, some told Buzzfeed that it’s hard to know that she just donated $4 million to coronavirus relief while they forgo the wages that were promised to them.
“We were told back in August, ‘We’re a family and we’re going to take care of you.’ It was nice, and then for this to happen, people are hurt,” one crew member said. “It’s a damn shame.”
Rachael Ray isn’t the only show shorting its crew. Similar complaints have also been made by those working on The Real, American Idol, Entertainment Tonight, and Dr. Phil.
“They’re a giant corporation and this is a multibillion-dollar entertainment business,” another crew member said. “CBS is getting their shows, they’re getting their advertising dollars, the production companies are making money, but they’re not paying us.”
While the pandemic has been economically disastrous for just about everyone (except, of course, the rich), women have been hit the hardest. A release earlier this month from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the unemployment rate among women over the age of 20 in September 2020 was 7.7 percent, compared to men’s 7.4 percent. The unemployment rate for adult Latinas and Black women is above 10 percent.