Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Law Enforcement Crack Down on Central Casting
In a cease-and-desist letter sent Wednesday to Central Casting's office in Burbank, the two agencies [California state labor commissioner and the Los Angeles city attorney] said that the company's practices do not comply with the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act, which went into effect last year. Similar letters were sent to 13 other, much smaller Los Angeles companies. Undercover agents from the City Attorney's Office found that Central Casting charges actors $25 for photo services regardless of whether they secure work through the company. Officials cited a 2008 news report claiming that Central Casting registers roughly 500 background actors per week [about $50,000.00 in registration fees a month, 500 x 25 x 4]
Officials gave the company 10 days to end the practice or else face civil or criminal charges (from Backstage). My current list of background casting companies in LA includes 31 and the vast majority require fees to be paid to register with them. The Krekorian act in part rewrote California Labor Code Section 1702.1 to say:
No person shall own, operate, or act in the capacity of an advance-fee talent representation service...who provides or offers to provide...one or more of the following services described below, provided that the person charges or receives a fee from or on behalf of an artist for photographs...
and begins the list of services with
Procuring or attempting to procure an employment opportunity or an engagement as an artist.
Update June 1, 2011: Rumor is Central Casting has stopped charging a registration fee, but I do not have confirmation.
Update June 12, 2011: Central Casting has said they have stopped charging a photo fee.
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