Amid Pay-to-Play Controversy, 'Criminal Minds' Casting Director Breaks Silence After Dismissal

Damon Casarez
Scott David

Scott David, a controversial figure for owning the workshop business The Actors Links, defends the company's practices while announcing new procedures.

Scott David, the longtime Criminal Minds casting director who was let go from the CBS procedural by production company Touchstone Television the day after The Hollywood Reporter’s March 31 investigation into the entertainment industry’s proliferating culture of pay-to-play auditions, has broken his silence.

In a letter dated April 14 and addressed to colleagues (it is reproduced in full below), David wrote, “My time with Criminal Minds ended for a myriad reasons.” He reaffirms his belief that the workshops he teaches and runs through the North Hollywood company he co-owns, The Actors Link, fall “within the parameters” of California’s Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act, passed in 2009.

He continues: “My business partner and I are very clear in our messaging that the workshops we offer at The Actors Link are not auditions nor employment opportunities but rather educational platforms where actors can come to better prepare themselves for future opportunities.”

Still, The Actors Link website has announced what it describes as a “NEW FORMAT” for “Spring 2016,” replacing one-on-one readings in a private room that aped an audition experience and previously featured only a paying actor, a casting director and an Actors Link staffer reading corresponding lines of a given script scene. Now a small group of two to five additional paying actors will observe that first actor’s performance before rotating. “This will create MORE of a learning experience and class type setting,” the note reads. “You will experience MORE FEEDBACK, MORE NOTES and MORE ADJUSTMENTS!”

David capped off April 14 with a cold-reading session at Burbank workshop operator Connect Studios, now co-owned by actor Doug Morency, who previously told THR he credited his first role to forging a relationship with David through paid workshops. “If I hadn’t taken these workshops, that gig never would’ve happened,” he said.

“Scott David is back tonight and he’s ready to talk!” Connect Studios’ e-mailed advertisement read. “He is still casting film and theatre and loves meeting and teaching new talent at our classes. Show him your support!”


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