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Unions investigate working conditions on 'Liz & Dick' film production

June 20, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • Actress Lindsay Lohan is seen in her role as Elizabeth Taylor and actor Grant Bowler plays Richard Burton in the movie, "Liz & Dick," currently filming in Los Angeles. Two Hollywood unions are looking into working conditions on the production.
Actress Lindsay Lohan is seen in her role as Elizabeth Taylor and actor Grant… (AP Photo/Lifetime, Richard…)

Two of Hollywood's largest unions said they were investigating working conditions on the production of Lindsay Lohan's TV movie "Liz & Dick."

"We have had union representatives on the set since last Friday and will continue to monitor the hours and working conditions there," said Mike Miller, motion picture and television director for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents technical workers on films and TV shows. "We take very seriously the safety and well-being of our crews and are dedicated to seeing that they are protected from hazardous working conditions."

IATSE's statement comes in the wake of reports that some crew members were treated for exhaustion and dehydration after working long hours on the Lifetime movie, about the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Lohan, who plays Taylor, was treated last week by paramedics for exhaustion and dehydration and later described her experiences on Twitter: "Note to self... After working 85hours in 4days, and being up all night shooting, be very aware that you might pass out from exhaustion & . 7 paramedics MIGHT show up."

"Liz & Dick" has been filming in the Los Angeles area and is expected to wrap filming at the end of this month.

SAG-AFTRA also has been investigating conditions on the set and sent a representative to visit the production this week. "We have spoken with representatives from the company, and they are fully aware of their contractual obligations," the guild said in a statement. "We will ensure that all applicable penalties will be paid.”

Guild collective bargaining rules require 12-hour rests between film shoots, but productions are occasionally fined for shortening the rest period.

Larry A. Thompson, producer of the Lifetime movie, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that no violations had occurred and that the SAG-AFTRA representative "was totally fine with everything" she found during shooting Tuesday at a Los Angeles estate.

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