Musicians’ Union Files Unfair Labor Charge Against HBO’s ‘The Gilded Age’

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on May 21, 2021.

The American Federation of Musicians has filed an unfair labor practices charge against HBO, claiming that musicians on The Gilded Age, its 10-part miniseries filming in New York, were fired after they asked to be represented by the union. The charge was filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

After a meeting this morning with the show’s producers, “The musicians were told that HBO would not be contracting with the AFM and then were informed they were no longer employed for the production,” the union said in a statement. “The orchestra musicians had asked to be accorded the same respect as their colleagues working in other crafts on the set and to be represented by their union.”

The union says that 23 musicians had been hired to “sideline” on the period piece, meaning that they would be miming the playing of their instruments on camera. The union’s contract provides that when two or more musicians are hired to “sideline,” they’ll each be paid a minimum of $242 a day, plus pension and health contributions. …

Deadline Hollywood 5/21

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at