Former 'Criminal Minds' Casting Director Abandons Workshop Business After Pay-to-Play Controversy

Damon Casarez
Scott David

Casting director Scott David, who was relieved of his duties at 'Criminal Minds' in early April, has announced the closure of the North Hollywood-based The Actors Link, which will rebrand without him.

Prominent casting director Scott David, who lost his longtime job the day after The Hollywood Reporter published a late March investigation into the entertainment industry’s proliferating culture of pay-to-play auditions, has announced the closure of his controversial workshop business.

North Hollywood-based The Actors Link, which the Criminal Minds talent procurer has co-owned with his business partner Brett Weinstock for four years, will shutter in July before immediately transitioning into a similar concept, ACE Studios, solely run by Weinstock.

In an e-mail sent to THR through his newly hired Hollywood publicist Elizabeth Much, David asserts that he will retain no financial investment in the rebranded entity. He also insists the move was not made in an attempt to better position himself for a return to a high-profile role in entertainment, after Touchstone Television terminated his involvement with the CBS procedural. “Quite the contrary, I’ve received an incredible amount of support from my colleagues in the business,” he says.

David and Weinstock announced the news on The Actors Link’s website and Facebook page on Sunday, two weeks after format changes were heralded to “create more of a learning experience.” In their May 1 press release the pair explained, “All credits for existing members will be honored by the new company.”

David tells THR he has not decided whether he will teach classes at ACE Studios in the future, but the announcement noted he’d “chosen to focus on his own career in casting, teaching and coaching.”

The closure of The Actors Link follows a series of movements in the wake of THR’s initial coverage. A petition urging Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer to “hold these companies accountable for their actions” has passed 13,500 signatures at press time, while the Casting Society of America has established a committee to encourage members to better abide by state labor law.

Prominent in the TV casting community, David has been a contentious figure for years for simultaneously working on the CBS procedural while owning a workshop business. The Actors Link charged those seeking roles on his show and others for classes ostensibly teaching auditioning technique, taught by those concurrently in a hiring position on network, cable and streaming shows. 

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