The Animation Guild is now unionising with production workers from The Simpsons, American Dad!, and Family Guy, having previously been left out compared to animators, writers, and actors.
Production workers at The Simpsons, American Dad!, and Family Guy have gained voluntary recognition from 20th Television Animation, their parent company, to join The Animation Guild.
It’s part of a wider push by The Animation Guild to expand the type of memberships it offers. Until now, production work on television shows has largely been considered a ‘stepping stone’ to bigger careers within the industry.
This has meant that those in production have not received healthcare or retirement benefits. Their role is usually to provide logistical and administrative support for programmes, and is largely considered ‘lower-level’ compared to top-dog writing gigs.
‘Stepping stone’ work within production is not the case, however, according to managers who work in television. Speaking to NPR, The Simpsons production manager Ashley Cooper said that ‘people can wind up spending many years in something that’s seen as a job for a young person to do for six months’.
The Animation Guild also commented that ‘production workers won with 90% support across all three shows’.
It’s not just these three shows that have seen production staff unionise, either. The Animation Guild has taken on employees from Harriet the Spy, Rick and Morty, and Solar Opposites all within the last year.