Wednesday, June 20, 2007


From today's Defamer: Innovative Assistants Get Their Health Coverage Back.

The free bagels enjoyed each Wednesday by Innovative Artists' overworked, undercompensated, and recently uninsured assistants will be slathered with the delicious schmear of victory this morning, as Variety is reporting that agency president Scott Harris has recanted his belief that benefits were being wasted on his young, hearty workforce and reinstated their health coverage through COBRA.

And from the related Variety article, Innovative benefits return, by Peter Gilstrap, emphasis mine:

The good:

"...non-contracted employees are not the only workers upset by this issue. Presently, several agents have offered to share salaries with their assistants to help compensate for our loss of benefits, several outside employers have solicited our services for rival companies, and most assistants are questioning their rationale for continuing to work at Innovative."

The not so good:

Though they've seen "nothing in writing," the mood within the company "is better," the source stated. "People are happy that we won a small battle, and hopefully things will continue to get better. We know it was a big step for him to do this. And now there won't be a boycott on bagel day."

As usual, the comments on Defamer were both entertaining and informative:

Everybody Likes Pandas says:

...The article says they're covered by COBRA until he chooses a plan. Which they would've been anyway, I think, so is this news? Unless Innovative is paying for the COBRA. Or bartering bagels for it.

papa_bear says:

Countdown til all of the people who put their names on the letter are fired for various "unrelated" reasons...3...2...1

Then have fun interviewing elsewhere when suddenly you have "too much experience" for a PA job on a cable access show.

Ahhh, Hollywood, love it.

Finally, the longest, yet completely accurate comment:

D Day says:

So you got your HMO plan back (kind of)...congrats.
If you work at this, or any other lower level agency, you can now look forward to 2-3 more years of making $450/wk and working 50+ hours a week, plus the expected night time and weekend schmoozing (at your expense), and getting yelled at by some douchebag with a drug problem. Then, when you're up for the BIG PROMOTION, you'll be presented with a shitty contract that pays you probably about $40K/yr to start. Raises? Oh yeah, they'll dangle some nominal annual bumps, but only if you sign a long term contract that resembles indentured servitude. When you've finally "made it" you'll be 29 or 30 years old, making $55K/yr (plus HMO!), living in the same apartment and wondering why you ever dropped out of business school. Unless of course you get lucky and break a hot young client. Unfortunately for you that client (who has always expressed their undying gratitude for all your hard work) will leave you at the drop of a hat as soon as they find out they can sit on someone else's client list next to a few bigger names. And you will sit there justifying why you should continue squeezing your soul to pay for someone else's mansion and service every little need of a bunch of C-list narcissistic actors who could care less about you.
Have fun!

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