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Former ‘Walking Dead’ Showrunner Offers Tips on How to

Glen Mazzara photographed in 2016

Jerod Harris / Getty Images for A+E Networks

As Hollywood assistants have been talking out by way of the rising #PayUpHollywood motion in opposition to their working circumstances and low wages, former “The Walking Dead” showrunner Glen Mazzara chimed in on Sunday to share an inventory of actions he has individually taken to raised assist his assistants.

Included within the checklist was shopping for lunch and low for assistants, which “saves them hundreds per month”; studying scripts and offering “detailed feedback”; letting assistants observe the filmmaking course of step-by-step; providing extra pay for individuals who assist out with private initiatives; and hiring assistants into workers positions.

Mazzara additionally criticized a tradition by which writers and showrunners actively discourage assistants from taking part within the filmmaking course of, whereas additionally anticipating them to do the work of a workers inventive.

“I’ve seen showrunners yell at their assistants who are they to have an opinion. That’s mean,” he wrote. “I’ve seen staff writers expect assts to provide research or proof scripts for development projects w/o paying them. That’s taking advantage.”

Working as an assistant to a producer, showrunner, agent, or different Hollywood executives and energy gamers has lengthy been seen as a viable path towards a profession within the leisure business. But final month, the #PayUpHollywood motion grew in prominence as a consequence of a podcast episode from the “Chernobyl” creator Craig Mazin and the “Aladdin” screenwriter John August, the place the 2 mentioned how little Hollywood assistants had been paid.

“All of you who are underpaying these people: You are playing with fire. They have your emails. They have your information. Wise up,” Mazin mentioned within the episode. “If you don’t want to do the right thing because you’re a good person, do the right thing because you’re a prudent person.”

Shortly after episode was launched, a hashtag created on social media by Liz Alper, a TV author (“Chicago Fire,” “The Rookie”) and Writers Guild of America board member, shortly unfold as assistants started sharing their grievances with their line of labor. Chief among the many complaints had been non-competitive, low wages, exhausting work hours, and costly obstacles to entry.

In his Twitter thread, Mazzara urged different showrunners to advocate for his or her assistants and do extra individually to assist their profession growth.

“Yes, showrunners need to advocate for higher pay for assistants but very often the studios will just give you a flat no,” Mazzara wrote. “I’m throwing these tips out there to show that yes, we need to advocate for higher pay but whether or not the studios comply, there are many other ways we can support our hard-working assistants … I’ve had many great assistants over the years and I honestly wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”

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