Gogglebox staff have claimed they suffer ‘inhumane’ working conditions on the Channel 4 show, and allegedly suggested they are screamed at 12 hours a day and were told not to disrupt filming by going into Covid self-isolation.
Studio Lambert, the company which produces the popular programme, has come under fire after it received complaints from several members of staff, The Guardian reports.
While the show has been used as part of Channel 4’s #StayAtHome campaign, staff are reported to have claimed they were told to avoid having to self-isolate.
Off-screen members of staff working on Studio Lambert’s Gogglebox are reported to have claimed they are made to work in ‘inhumane’ working conditions. Pictured: Gogglebox cast members Stephen and Pat
Studio Lambert, the company which produces Gogglebox, is reported to have received a number of complaints from members of staff. Pictured: Celebrity Gogglebox cast members Denise van Outen and partner Eddie
There are also claims that off-screen staff were allegedly forced to go without breaks and work excessive hours to ensure the hit show was ready.
One ex-employee apparently said it was the worst job they ever had, claiming the way staff are treated is at times ‘inhumane’.
As concerns began to emerge, the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (Bectu) – which supports staff and freelancers working in the media and entertainment industry – are said to have been contacted.
Specifically, the union is working towards making working conditions better for those working in reality TV.
It has launched its #UnseenOnScreen campaign through its Unscripted Branch, which aims to raise awareness of bullying and harassment in the TV sector.
Several complaints have reportedly been submitted to the Bectu about Studio Lambert and the union said it was attempting to arrange a meeting with the production company.
Staff reportedly claim they were told to avoid having to self-isolate so as not to disrupt filming. Pictured: Gogglebox cast members Mary and Marina
Off-screen staff say they were forced to go without breaks and work excessive hours to ensure the hit show was ready. Pictured: Gogglebox cast members The Malone family
Posting about the latest Gogglebox claims on Facebook, Unseen on Screen said: ‘Freelance TV workers deserve decent working conditions, just like everyone else, and this is exactly what the Bectu Unscripted Branch is fighting for.’
Reports claim complaints have also been raised by staff working on Channel 4’s The Circle – a show also produced by Studio Lambert.
A Studio Lambert spokesperson said: ‘Studio Lambert takes the welfare of its teams extremely seriously across all its productions, and has a number of measures in place to encourage people to come forward with any concerns they may have, as well as support systems for a range of issues.
‘All our shows since March last year have been produced with Covid-19 safe protocols.’
Channel 4 are said to have set up a whistleblower service for staff, a move reportedly welcomed by Gogglebox employees.
A Channel 4 spokesperson said: ‘Channel 4 has a clear code of conduct which sets out the standards of behaviour it expects from its suppliers and production partners.
‘We can’t comment on anonymous allegations and rumours, but we are satisfied Studio Lambert is taking appropriate action to ensure the welfare of its teams and to enforce appropriate standards of behaviour across the shows it makes for us.’
Bectu and representatives for Studio Lambert have been approached for comment.