Fundraiser for Rigger Juan ‘Spike’ Wu Osorio, Who Died on ‘Wonder Man’ Set, Crosses $100,000 in Less Than 24 Hours

UPDATE 2/9 with IATSE statement: A fundraiser organized on behalf of rigging technician Juan “Spike” Wu Osorio, who died on the set of Marvel’s “Wonder Man” TV series on February 6, has raised over $110,000 in less than 24 hours. At this latest update, the fundraiser surpassed $162,000 and the goal has been increased to $200,000.

Bill Martel, a production sound mixer and president of Impact AV, organized the GoFundMe. He wrote that the incident at Radford Studio Center may have been “due to a potential structural failure.” When reached by IndieWire, Martel declined to comment in more detail about the nature of the accident.

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“We are hoping the Production Company, The Facility, MBS, Marvel Studios handles things properly, but expect a long road,” Martel wrote. “In the mean time, bills will be mounting and the widow, Boom Operator Joanne W., will be left to deal with everything. Help if you’re able, it’s greatly appreciated.”

IATSE issued this statement on Osorio’s passing: “He was the best person who cared for all living things, a person that we all should strive to be. J.C. Spike Osorio was taken away from us too soon on February 6, 2024. 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.

“He 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. 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. He is survived by his wife, Joanne Osorio-Wu, his mother, Zoila Osorio, and his two schnauzers, Murphy Pastrami and Sirius Pickle. To paraphrase a line from one of his favorite podcasts, “He was Spike, he lives forever in every moment he existed, and swore to every star in the cosmos, that he never forgot it was a gift, not for one second.”

A California Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigation is ongoing. Family and friends will be notified when funeral and memorial arrangements are made. IATSE had no additional comment.

Osorio worked as a rigging electrician and best boy for over a decade on shows like “The Conners,” “The Dark Tower,” “Bad Hair,” “Goliath,” and many more. He also previously worked with Marvel on “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and most recently for Disney+ on “American Born Chinese.”

Martel told IndieWire that Osorio was a U.S. Army combat veteran and worked as a set electrician since he returned from service. Martel is a 25-year-veteran sound mixer in IATSE Local 695, and Osorio’s widow Joanne has worked as his boom operator for the last decade. Martel collaborated with Osorio on commercials and other projects over the years, but Martel and Osorio’s widow heard the news while working on another project.

“They were a very loving and unique couple. Dog lovers. Humanitarians, and the nicest people in my phone book,” Martel said. “Extremely well-respected professionally, the both of them. The widow before this tragedy and after looks to me for guidance and support. I’m her boss and her friend.”

Martel called Osorio a “conscientious, by-the-rules” person and family man who was involved with his union and always followed safety rules. He added that although he is neither family nor executor to the estate, he believes that industry professionals need to look out for one another.

“I just foresee a long, difficult road, and anything I can do to make it easier for her, I’ll do,” Martel said. “If we can’t take care of [our industry], we’re failing.”

Among the fundraiser’s donors are “Wonder Man” series director Destin Daniel Cretton (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”), who donated $5,000, as well as cinematographer Wally Pfister and producer Bonnie Muñoz. Donations can be made here.

“I’m still at a loss for the right words but here goes,” colleague Jeffrey Taylor wrote in the fundraiser’s comments. “Spike was a mentor, a leader, a friend to me and surely so many. I think the names listed here are just a small fraction of the lives he touched and people he left a lasting impression on. I’ve yet to encounter someone with the same vigor and enthusiasm for doing the job well and enjoyment of it as Spike had, and the glint in his eye when he was sharing a laugh or having fun. I can’t believe he’s gone, there was so much road left still, damn it. May his memory be a blessing and may those closest find light and peace in this unimaginably difficult moment. I hope this can be just a small bit towards giving him the most proper of all sendoffs. Rest in Peace, Spike. You brought a smile to everyone’s face, always. Gone but never ever forgotten. See you down the road man.”

“I was lucky enough to have worked with Spike as I was starting my career on ‘The Conners.’ He showed up to work every day with a smile, made jokes with fellow PAs and I all the time, and was loved by the entire crew,” colleague Ethan Hahn wrote.

Osorio worked as a rigging electrician and best boy for over a decade on shows like “The Conners,” “The Dark Tower,” “Bad Hair,” “Goliath,” and many more. He also previously worked with Marvel on “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and most recently for Disney+ on “American Born Chinese.”

IATSE Local 728 released a statement Tuesday to its members: “Today we lost a member of our 728 family. We are in the process of arranging support with MPTF for the family and crew who were on the show. There is an ongoing investigation with the support from the IATSE International. Remember that as much as we love what we do, the goal is always to go home safely at the end of the day. One of ours is not going to do that today. Please keep their family and crew in your thoughts and prayers today, and respect their privacy at this time. Stay safe everyone.”

IATSE, the union that supports below-the-line workers, shared this statement yesterday: “Everyone in the IA family is shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss. We are working to support our member’s family, and his fellow members and colleagues,” said union president Matthew D. Loeb. “Safety on set is our highest priority and we will assist Cal/OSHA in their investigation in any way that we can. If you feel unsafe on set for any reason, members can call the IATSE Safety Hotline at 844-422-9273 or use our safety info app.”

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family and friends, and our support is behind the investigation into the circumstances of this accident,” a Marvel spokesperson said in a statement to IndieWire on Tuesday.

Radford Studio Center is owned by real estate investment outfit Hackman Capital Partners. Its properties include Culver Studios, Kaufman Astoria Studios, Raleigh Studios, and Television City, among many others in North America and the U.K.

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