Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Watch Your Live Shots

From Roger Armbrust at backstage.com

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) is challenging the constitutionality of new legislation in Congress that would increase broadcast performers' fines for indecency from $11,000 to $500,000. The Screen Actors Guild is also pushing for amendments to protect actors.The 80,000 member-strong AFTRA has expressed puzzlement over H.R. 310, the bill under which "individuals would be fined at the same level as large corporate broadcast stations," according to information provided by AFTRA to its members.

AFTRA noted to its membership that the new legislation would increase fines for a range of AFTRA's members, including:

Broadcast journalists "when a news story includes controversial material or a live stand-up suddenly gets out of hand, because there is no exemption for news coverage."

This is important to keep in mind just in case a college student has a "wardrobe malfunction" during a live shot at a local watering hole.

Note: WEEK newsroom staffers are members of AFTRA.

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