Is Shtisel season three in danger?

Actors union threatens production as Yes says an additional season is not finalized.

May 23, 2019 08:59
2 minute read.
Israeli television show

‘SHTISEL’ Israeli series. (photo credit: TAMAR LAM)


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Audiences in Israel and around the world rejoiced a few weeks ago when a much-awaited third season of the Yes series Shtisel was seemingly confirmed. But now the Israeli Actors' Association is calling on the cast not to sign a contract with the show unless they're guaranteed more money for the sale of the series overseas. And the Yes network says the return of the season has yet to be finalized regardless.  

"We cannot stand idly by when they are exploiting actors and earning money from selling series abroad on their backs," said Uri Reshtik, the chairman of Shaham, the Israeli Actors' Association, in a statement this week.
Earlier this month, one of the show's writers, Yehonatan Indursky, told a crowd in London that a third season was on the way. The first two seasons aired in Israel in 2013 and 2016, but the show received a second life overseas when it was picked up by Netflix last year. The show began garnering international buzz, and received write-ups in The New York Times, The New Yorker, BBC and more.  

Indursky reportedly said in early May that the writers were already underway creating the third season. But a spokesman for Yes told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that a third season of the series has not been officially confirmed. 

And in reaction to the demands from Shaham, the spokesman said only that "we don't conduct our commercial interests through media outlets." 

Shaham sent a letter to Yes CEO Ran Guron this week, slamming the company and saying it had instructed its members not to sign on to the production. 

"Alongside the pride in promoting Israeli creativity around the world, Israeli actors are an integral part of the creation, but they do not receive any additional payment when the show they took part in is sold overseas," the letter read. It added that "according to our investigation, Israel is alone in this issue," and noted that in Europe and the US, agreements exist to compensate local actors when local shows are sold to foreign broadcasters. 

Shaham also noted that it had recently reached a deal on the issue with Keshet, which has sold a wide range of shows to foreign networks, including The Baker and the Beauty, When Heroes Fly and Prisoners of War

"In light of all this, the management committee of Shaham has decided that - in the absence of any deal with Yes - to instruct its member actors not to sign contracts for their participation in the production, until the issue is resolved," the letter concluded. 

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