Showbizreporting's Blog

October 21, 2009

Every Actor Should Know

Every Actor Should Know
Posted on October 20, 2009, 1:41 PM, by WW, under Media Business.

If someone says they’re an agent and then asks you to pay up front for them to represent you, there’s only one word to come back with: NO!

In fact, in California, it’s now illegal to ask for an advance fee for representing talent. AFTRA is out with a statement thanking Gov. Schwarzenegger for signing the new law.

LOS ANGELES (October 20, 2009)—The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) today praised the signing of a new California State law designed to address the problem of abusive business practices and fraud that plague the advance-fee talent industry.

On October 11, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill 1319, Talent Services, which prohibits advance-fee talent services from charging money upfront and then attempting to procure employment for their clients. The new law, which was supported by AFTRA, also divides permissible advance-fee services into three categories (talent listing, talent counseling and talent training services) and enacts stricter regulations for all of them, including the requirement to post a $50,000 bond with the State and mandating the use of contracts that are clear and easy to understand.

“We are extremely pleased that the Governor has signed this bill into law,” said AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth. “We are proud to have supported this legislation that will greatly benefit both the public and our members who work in the entertainment and media industries. Performers – and young performers, in particular – are especially vulnerable to scam artists and predatory business practices that fraudulently exploit their aspirations and talents. This new law will help regulate the advance-fee talent services that often cause both monetary loss and severe emotional distress to their victims and their families. We applaud State Assembly Member Paul Krekorian for introducing AB 1319, and we express our appreciation to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for working closely with us on this bill to address the concerns of AFTRA members.”

The new law also includes provisions to regulate Internet activities of various businesses (previous advance-fee legislation only covered print), and requires the insertion of language into performer contracts that states these services are not permitted to procure employment for the performer, and that function is limited only to licensed talent agents.

The bill was introduced by Assembly Member Paul Krekorian (D-Burbank) in February 2009.

SAG has announced a news conference on the subject:

Who: Ken Howard, Screen Actors Guild National President
David White, Screen Actors Guild National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator
Assemblymember Paul Krekorian
Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Mark Lambert;
Gary Almond, Director of Operations, the Better Business Bureau, Los Angeles;
Anne Henry, Co-founder, Biz Parents;
Pamm Fair, Screen Actors Guild Deputy National Executive Director
Zino Macaluso, Screen Actors Guild National Director, Agency Relations
Casting directors, non profit groups, parents and children who will benefit from legislation

When: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where: Screen Actors Guild National Headquarters
SAG Actors Center, Mezzanine Level
5757 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Parking will be validated


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