Watch CBS News

Hollywood Casting Workshops Accused Of Being Pay-To-Play Schemes

HOLLYWOOD ( — Criminal charges were filed Thursday against Hollywood casting workshops that Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer says were pay-to-play schemes.

Five criminal complaints were filed against a total of 28 defendants, including 18 casting directors, associates or assistants who were guest "instructors" at the five workshop businesses, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

The workshops named in the complaints were The Actors Link, The Actor's Key, Actors Alley, Casting Network and Studio Production. Each business faces charges of charging fees for auditions, under the Talent Scam Prevention Act, which makes it a misdemeanor for talent workshops to charge for an audition or employment opportunity.

"As the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles continues to attract thousands of aspiring performers from across the world. Unfortunately, pay-to-play casting schemes often exploit their dreams, purely for profit," Feuer said in a statement. "My office will continue to crack down on those who would take advantage of performers desperate for work."

casting workshop warning
(credit: John Vincent/CBS)

The City Attorney's Office launched an investigation into casting workshops last January, sending in a professional actor working as an undercover informant to attend 13 casting workshops conducted by five separate businesses.

Workshops in California must be for instructional purposes only and must clearly state that participation is not a guarantee of employment, according to the City Attorney's Office.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of one of a casting workshop or wishes to file a complaint can email the LA City Attorney's Office Consumer Protection Section or call (213) 473-6924.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.