After Prominent Casting Director Is Dismissed, Dueling Petitions Circulate in Hollywood

Damon Casarez
Scott David

Petition urging DA's office to take action yields 36 times more signatures than one to reinstate casting director Scott David.

Dueling petitions have emerged following The Hollywood Reporter’s March 30 investigation into the growing prevalence of pay-to-play TV auditions, as well as the high-profile dismissal of prominent casting director Scott David (CBS’ Criminal Minds) that immediately followed its publication.

At press time, more than 9,200 individuals had signed on to support an appeal initiated by actor and lawyer Jared Milrad to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs chief of investigations Rigo Reyes to “hold these companies accountable for their actions.” THR found that neither agency had brought forth an investigation nor a prosecution with a California state law known as The Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act, which was meant to curb pay-to-pay abuses, since it went into effect in 2010.

Many actors are making their feelings publicly known. (THR’s initial story was exclusively told through anonymous colleagues, fearing reprisal.) “This is shameless and exploitative double-dipping,” wrote Karina Minchala. Added Alex D’Lerma: “This is a real issue that erodes the dreams and financial well-being of thousands of young actors.”

Meanwhile, manager Jennifer DaRe, a veteran of the workshop circuit — and who is currently advertising an evening visit on May 4 at The Actor’s Key in Burbank — has launched her own entreaty on behalf of Scott David, which at press time has more than 250 signatures. It describes David’s removal from Criminal Minds by Touchstone Television as “an absolute travesty” that “needs to be remedied immediately!”

David is both a frequent presence on L.A.’s workshop circuit as well as the co-owner of his own North Hollywood-based operation, The Actors Link.

The petition’s actor allies, who frequently position him as a scapegoated fall guy for a larger industry trend (which they often defend as legitimate), left their own comments. These signed statements, even in their support, confirmed the causal relationship between attending his classes and the prospect of gaining a role on projects he casts.

Actor Josh Allen Goldman noted that David “will call you in through meeting at these workshops and open doors for you that no one else will!”

Observed actor Spencer Kramber, “Scott cast me in my first primetime role when I had no credits or representation by teaching me in a workshop at ITA Productions.” (Kramber appeared as a detective on a 2009 episode of Criminal Minds.)

On Monday, David tweeted that he was “going to be breaking the silence in the next few days” about his departure.