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BoJack animators utilize their collective horse-power, unionize

Image: Netflix

Equine comrades unite: After months of protests and calls for recognition, Cartoon Brew is reporting that the animators behind Netflix’s beloved intersection between the worlds of silly animal puns and depressed, problematic men, BoJack Horseman, have ratified a new contract with The Animation Guild. The BoJack animators—who are directly employed by animation studio ShadowMachine, which works for actual show owner The Tornante Company, which licenses the show to Netflix, because that’s Hollywoo for you—have followed in the footsteps of not just the show’s cast and writers (SAG-AFTRA and WGA-represented, respectively), but also the upwards of 50 unionized animated series that run on the streaming service, where non-unionization is something of an outlier.

Per an earlier Cartoon Brew analysis of the situation, fervor for a union among the BoJack animators kicked into high gear after ShadowMachine began producing the TBS/Adult Swim series Final Space, whose crew was unionized from the start. The last few months have seen the show’s team organize protests, a 10-minute walk-out, and solicitation of support from both fans, and the show’s cast, in order to have their desire for a union contract recognized. (Series star Paul F. Tompkins having been the most vocal of the bunch; creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg—who possibly counts as management, and thus might be prohibited from commenting on the union efforts in certain ways—hasn’t made a public statement about the efforts, but re-tweeted out the Animation Guild notice today.)


BoJack is currently gearing up for its sixth season of existential misery and funny signs on Netflix, but hey: At least the people making it are likely to be a little happier, now that their professional needs and desires have been formally recognized.

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