Three More Casting Professionals Accept Plea Deals In Pay-to-Play Auditions Crackdown

Mike Feuer -June 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California - Getty-H 2017
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L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer's latest agreements are with veterans of 'Santa Clarita Diet,' 'Castle' and 'Shooter.'

Veteran television casting professional Ty Harman (Santa Clarita Diet, The Real O’Neals) is among the latest to strike plea deals with Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer in the midst of an ongoing crackdown on pay-to-play auditions. Casting associates Eddie Jaszek (Castle) and Kate Reed (Shooter) also worked out arrangements with the prosecutor’s office.

More than a dozen individuals have accepted deals since February, when Feuer began an aggressive enforcement effort of the Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act, a California labor law. A number of remaining defendants are scheduled for January court hearings.

Feuer’s prosecutions — which followed a 2016 examination by The Hollywood Reporter into the pervasiveness of pay-to-play auditions — have paralleled a significant curtailment of the practice.

Several of the most prominent businesses profiting from such disputed auditions, including The Actors Link and Actor’s Key, which hosted casting professionals who “taught” so-called “workshop classes” on the premises, have either restructured or shuttered after themselves being targeted for prosecution.

Harman agreed to 90 hours of community service, while Reed and Jaszek will respectively perform 50 and 25 hours of service as recompense. Under the hitherto rarely enforced law, convictions can result in up to a year in jail.

While the city attorney has yet to comment on his ongoing prosecution strategy, it appears that the pattern of deal-making so far has been to send a message to other potential offenders of the legal and professional consequences of flouting the Krekorian Act.

At a February press conference announcing a slew of indictments, Feuer observed that "aspiring performers who pursue their dreams should be treated with respect and never be exploited for profit."

SAG-AFTRA's general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland also spoke at the event in support of the stepped-up enforcement actions, noting of aspiring actors: "These people's dreams were taken advantage of. These are not people of means. These are people barely getting by. So just to be considered for a job, it's a real abuse."