The family of a crew member who died this week on the Los Angeles set of a Marvel TV show has spoken out, advocating safety measures for below-the-line workers in Hollywood.
Crew members union IATSE shared a statement Friday from the family of J.C. “Spike” Osorio, a lighting technician and member of IATSE Local 728 who died Tuesday after falling from the rafters at Radford Studio Center in Studio City. Osorio was working on the upcoming series “Wonder Man” when the incident occurred.
“He was the best person who cared for all living things, a person that we all should strive to be,” the family said in the statement.
“He was the most wonderful, thoughtful, and loving husband, a caring son, a wise brother, a strong friend, a brave veteran, a euphorbia enthusiast, a meticulous lighting technician, and a stickler for safety at work.”
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, officers arrived Tuesday at the 4000 block of Radford Street for a death investigation upon receiving a call that a 50-year-old man had fallen from a catwalk onto a stage.
Over the past few days, a GoFundMe campaign created on behalf of Osorio’s wife, boom operator Joanne Osorio-Wu, has raised more than $163,000. The campaign description notes that Osorio fell “due to a potential structural failure.”
“We are hoping the Production Company, The Facility, MBS, Marvel Studios handles things properly, but expect a long road fraught with attorney fees and expenses,” the description continues. “Help if you’re able, it’s greatly appreciated.”
Cal/OSHA, a division of the California Department of Industrial Relations that enforces health and safety regulations for workers in the state, has launched an investigation into Osorio’s death.
Osorio is survived by his wife, his mother, Zoila Osorio, and his two schnauzers, Murphy Pastrami and Sirius Pickle.
Osorio “would talk your ear off given the chance and the opportunity, but he would always take the time to listen and care about what others needed to say,” his family said in their statement.
“He would want everyone he knows to carry on the torch of maintaining safety and protections for the working people not only of IATSE but beyond as well.”
IATSE also released a statement mourning the death of Osorio as the union prepares for contract negotiations with the major Hollywood studios, which begin next month. The labor organization is seeking wage increases, improved pension and health plans and safeguards against the use of artificial intelligence, among other craft-specific job benefits and protections for some 168,000 members.
Following last year’s writers’ and actors’ strikes — which spurred a widespread production shutdown that hit crew members particularly hard — there has been much talk in the industry about whether IATSE members are prepared to walk out as well.
“The Negotiating Committee is not interested in extending this agreement beyond the July 31 expiration,” a guide to the bargaining process on the IATSE website reads.
“Depending on the status of negotiations around this time, there will either be a strike authorization vote, or a ratification vote.”