Actors have started a petition to investigate allegedly illegal casting director workshops in Los Angeles
A new petition is going viral calling for Los Angeles officials to crackdown and stop pay-to-work casting scams in Hollywood. According to reports, after an investigation into the allegedly “illegal” acting workshops held throughout the country by casting directors, many actors are calling for Los Angeles’ city Attorney Mike Feurer and Rigo Reyes, Chief of Investigations to look into the acting workshops business.
From The Petition Site:
What if you had to PAY just to interview for your job?
A recent investigation by The Hollywood Reporter highlighted the rampant problem of so-called “Casting Director Workshops,” where actors pay a fee (often $50 or more) to perform a scene in front of casting directors that cast major TV shows and films. These sessions are touted as “educational workshops,” but it’s no secret what they are: pay-to-play auditions that can lead to paid acting roles.
This news comes after a popular and and powerful casting director was allegedly fired from CBS Criminal Minds after holding acting workshops. According to California state law, the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act, which became effective six years, makes it explicitly illegal to exchange money for the possibility of getting a job in California. And according to the petition, casting directors are breaking the law.
Despite this requirement, more than two dozen companies currently offer pay-to-play “workshops” in Los Angeles, where “instructors” post flimsy disclaimers which caution actors that they are not auditioning for a job – even though it’s clear they are.
Despite this alleged scam, Los Angeles City Attorney and Department of Consumer Affairs has not investigated nor prosecuted a single case against pay-to-play companies, which is the reason behind the petition. Their goal is to pressure producers, networks and studios to “provide casting directors with ample resources to cast their projects, instead of sticking struggling actors with the bill. “
Here’s a copy of the full petition:
City Attorney Feuer and Mr. Reyes:
I urge you to begin immediate public investigations and prosecutions of pay-to-play casting scams.
As you know, the Krekorian Act of 2009 explictly bans exchanging money for the prospect of employment in California, yet dozens of pay-to-play casting companies currently engage in this practice by de-facto selling the prospect of employment in the entertainment industry. This practice is both immoral and illegal, and it is within your power – and duty – to stop it.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you.
Since, writing this article over 9,500 have signed the petition calling for the investigation into pay-to-play acting workshops held by prominent and powerful casting directors. Actors left comments in the petition bashing the casting director workshops.
Casting Workshop Scams are destroying industry integrity, costing unwitting actors countless thousands of dollars, and lining the pockets of industry insiders. Please protect Los Angeles actors and future LA-residents from this carefully gilded pay-to-play scam. – Christian Edsall
These workshops not only exploit working actors by preying on a desperate hope for work (which is unconscionable during already tough economic times), they restrict the creative potential of L.A.’s most recognized industry by barring actors at the door based on the contents of their bank accounts. – Daniel Trump
I was dropped by my manager a few years ago expressly because I was not spending enough money on casting director workshops. They are not classes. I have a masters in acting with 20 years of experience. There is little a casting director is going to teach me about my craft, but I was still expected to pay upwards of $400/month in order to meet casting directors. It is impossible now to get a general audition to meet a casting director. The only way to meet casting directors now is to pay. These workshops are a direct replacement for general auditions, and the cost is exorbitant. – Anonymous