Sausage Party Animators Say They Were Exploited

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Sausage Party. Photo: Columbia Pictures

How was summer's surprise hit Sausage Party made so cheaply? In part, a group of the film's animators have claimed, because its directors cut costs by refusing to pay employees overtime, threatening to ruin their reputations if they quit, and leaving departed employees off the film's credits. These accusations initially surfaced in the comments sections of sites like CartoonBrew, but now, a group of anonymous employees have spoken on the record to Variety about the alleged exploitation. The animators describe a workplace where unpaid overtime was routine and fear of reprisal was constant; as one says, "People would go in to talk to [co-director Greg Tiernan] or give their notice and there'd be screaming about being blacklisted." Animators are part of a union in the United States, but as Sausage Party was a Canadian production, union-mandated rules don't apply. Tiernan, for his part, has denied the charges, telling Variety the production "adhered to all overtime laws and regulations as well as our contractual obligations with our artists."