To the editor:

Shame on the editorial board of the Inquirer for once again painting organized labor as an inconvenient obstacle to economic progress in Philadelphia (“So close to a new reality,” March 18). Like their less subtle counterparts who wrote letters calling unions “a cancer in the livelihood of our city” which “just cost many people their jobs,” they make an ill-advised attempt to spin Bunim/Murray Productions’ obstinate refusal to negotiate with local unions. As your paper reported, (“‘Real world’ maker calls decision final,” March 18) despite repeated attempts by the Carpenters, Teamsters, and Electricians’ unions to make deals with the Real World producers, the Producers told the head of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office that “they were nonunion everywhere, and they did not want any deals with the unions.” For the Real World, whose website brags that no cost was spared to ensure that the current San Diego cast “got the hook-up in the house department,” to refuse to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement to justly compensate the hardworking men and women whose labor builds the house in which next season’s “four hot girls and three suave guys” will strut about and make out is the height of corporate hypocrisy. For the Inquirer to blame the unions for Bunim/Murray’s stonewalling is an offense against all the union workers whose decades of work off-camera built the American cities showcased on reality television. This is one of many members of the coveted 18-to-24 year-old demographic that won’t be tuning in to the Real World wherever its producers’ flight from accountability to organized labor may lead.

Josh Eidelson
Bala Cynwyd, PA

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