Production Assistants Forced To Poop In Their Cars File Lawsuit Against Paramount

Even if you really like your job, there are times when there are frustrations or you butt heads with a coworker or boss. That’s just going to happen no matter what. At least, hopefully, you weren’t forced to poop in your own car. But that, according to a new lawsuit filed against Paramount Pictures and more studios by a number of production assistants, is just one of the less than optimal conditions they had to endure on multiple movie sets.

The suit, filed by four parking production assistants, claims that Paramount, Nickelodeon Movies, Regency Films, and more, were so strict with their regulations that they couldn’t even leave their posts long enough to answer nature’s call. According to documents acquired by the Wrap, these individuals had to relieve themselves in buckets and bottles stashed in their cars. Paramount, as you can imagine, has not yet responded to the trade’s request for a comment, and considering this is a legal matter, you have to expect them to stay mum.

While this is certainly the most eye-catching complaint lodged by the PPAs, it is not the only one. Working on movies like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Wolf of Wall Street, they were paid a flat rate of $150 per 12-hour work day, and they allege that they were often required to work between 60 and 80 hours per week with no overtime. According to their claims, they were given no allowance for food and weren’t provided with any on set, even though others were. Additionally, while working in cold weather, they had to run back and forth to their cars just to stay warm.

I know this is messed up, but I can’t help but wonder if there was like a designated car everyone used as a restroom, maybe one parked in a nice, secluded corner of the lot away from the prying eyes of the public, or if was just a free for all and everyone used their own vehicle? What if you bussed to work?

All in all, that sounds like a raw deal for these parking production assistants all around. It seems like another instance of a high-demand industry exploiting people who are willing to work for very little money just to have the opportunity to put something like a Martin Scorsese movie on their resume. They treat them badly because they know there’s a line of people willing to fill any vacancy.

Among the demands made by the four plaintiffs are back pay, damages, and compensation for benefits that they say Paramount and the other studios named in the suit stiffed them on during their time on set. It will be interesting to watch how this develops and see if it has any impact on how studios and film sets do business moving forward. My guess is that they’ll throw a little money the problem and nothing substantial will change, but maybe I’m a cynic.

Brent McKnight