Crew on the Queensland-made series Apples Never Fall were terminated two weeks ago after crew were stood down without pay for an entire month.
Based on the novel by Lianne Moriarty, the series star Annette Bening and Sam Neill for NBC-owned Peacock. Matchbox Pictures was managing production in Australia for Universal Studios & Heyday Television.
But production halted in July due to the SAG-AFTRA strike in the USA. Bening returned to the US while Sam Neill is in WA shooting The Twelve for Foxtel.
The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance has published an Open Letter claiming, “A week’s paid compensation is a small token of recognition for the hardships of affected crew and a minor demand of a company that had global revenues of $US39 billion in 2022.”
“We call upon Matchbox and NBC Universal to do the right thing by crew employed on Apples Never Fall and take immediate action to rectify their hardship,” said MEAA.
“The termination of any crew member should be accompanied by the customary week’s notice, during which they deserve compensation in line with established labour practices. Rather than relying on legal loopholes, the company should provide crew with this basic entitlement.”
MEAA said members are insecurely engaged workers, relying on regular screen work for their livelihoods and during this period have experienced extreme financial uncertainty and consequential ongoing mental health stress.
Matchbox Pictures has been contacted for comment.