Mar 152017
 

Los Angeles Against The New Travel Ban

 

CITY OF LOS ANGELES JOINS AMICUS BRIEF AGAINST REVISED TRUMP TRAVEL BAN

 

City Attorney Mike Feuer announced the City of Los Angeles has joined a coalition of local municipalities opposed to President Trump’s revised Executive Order commonly known as the travel ban. The Cities of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles joined with jurisdictions across the nation in an amicus brief in State of Washington, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al. filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Read the official filing.

“All the window dressing in the world won’t magically transform a travel ban that’s unconstitutional at its core into a lawful order,” said Feuer. “Los Angeles proudly stands with cities across the nation at this perilous time, when many of our nation’s most fundamental principles hang in the balance.”

“The travel ban targets people indiscriminately and is far out of step with the values of religious tolerance and equality that we believe in as Americans,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Cities are coming together to lead this fight because we understand the urgency of working together to keep our country safe — and doing it in a way that honors our shared humanity, celebrates our diversity, and does not turn away from the ideals that define who we are.”

Prompted by reports that visa and green card holders were detained or denied entry at LAX, Feuer sought to intervene with federal officials at LAX the night of January 28. When Feuer’s efforts were rebuffed by these officials, Feuer sent this letter to top federal authorities seeking answers regarding the unlawful treatment of legal immigrants at LAX. When reports indicated LAX detainees suffered deplorable conditions -–for example, receiving little or no food or water for hours—Feuer submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the federal government last month.

Feuer’s office joined an amicus brief in February opposing the original travel ban.

 

 

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Feb 122017
 

L.A. City Attorney Takes On Casting Fraud

 

CITY ATTORNEY FEUER TAKES ON ALLEGED PAY-TO-PLAY CASTING WORKSHOPS IN HOLLYWOOD

FIVE BUSINESSES, 25 INDIVIDUALS CHARGED FOLLOWING UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION

Following an undercover investigation begun a year ago by his office, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced the filing of criminal charges to stop alleged pay-to-play casting schemes in the entertainment industry.

“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,” said Feuer. “My office will continue to crack down on those who would take advantage of performers desperate for work.”

The five Complaints charge a total of 28 Defendants, including 18 casting directors, associates or assistants who were guest “instructors” at the 5 workshop businesses.

Casting Workshop businesses and casting persons named in the criminal prosecutions include:

The Actors Link – two co-owners each charged with three counts of charging for auditions and one count of failing to use contracts conforming to the law, and four casting persons (including the co-owner) each charged with charging for auditions.

  • The Actor’s Key – the LLC, three operating members each charged with three counts of charging for auditions. Three casting persons each charged with one count of charging for auditions.
  • Actors Alley – the owner charged with two counts of charging for auditions and one count of failing to use contracts. Two casting persons each charged with one count of charging for auditions.
  • Casting Network – the LLC and its operating member charged with three counts of charging for auditions and one count of failing to use a contract. Three casting persons each charged with one count of charging for auditions.
  • Studio Productions – the LLC and its operating member charged with two counts of charging for auditions and one count of failing to use a contract. Six casting persons each charged with with one count of charging for auditions.

“I’m pleased that the City Attorney is continuing to use my legislation to protect performers and their families from bad actors in the entertainment industry,” said City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, author of California’s Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009. “No performer should be victimized by talent representatives who cut legal corners just to make a buck.”

The Talent Scam Prevention Act (AB319 in 2010) authored by then Assemblymember Paul Krekorian and sponsored by the City Attorney’s Office makes it a misdemeanor for talent workshops to charge for an audition or employment opportunity. The legislation came as a result of many casting workshops essentially charging actors to read in front of a casting director or their staff under the guise of providing them “educational” classes.

In January 2016, the City Attorney’s Office launched an investigation into “pay-to-play” casting workshops that had previously been the subject of numerous anonymous complaints. Between February and April 2016, a professional actor working as an undercover informant under the direction of the City Attorney’s Office attended 13 casting workshops conducted by five separate businesses. The undercover operator also attended consultations with representatives from three of the businesses as to which workshop guest would increase his chances of getting cast by an instructor.

The alleged activities at each of the individual workshops attended by the undercover informant were later verified by an independent expert witness as auditions or employment opportunities in direct violation of the Talent Scam Prevention Act.

If convicted, each could face up to one year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine plus penalty assessments for each count. Arraignment is scheduled in mid-to-late March.

“Preying on the hopes and dreams of artists is one of the oldest scams in Hollywood. We thank City Attorney Mike Feuer for enforcing the law and taking action to hold people accountable when they violate the law and take advantage of vulnerable people’s dreams. We will continue to work with the City Attorney’s Office to help protect our members and future members,” said SAG-AFTRA Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

All workshops in California must be for instructional purposes only, clearly stating that participation is not a guarantee of employment. In 2010, the casting industry issued the “Casting Workshop Guidelines” for casting professionals who participate at workshops, which can be found on the City Attorney’s website: www.lacityattorney.org

Any individuals who believe they may have been victimized or wish to file a complaint, should be made to the LA City Attorney’s Office, Consumer Protection Section at (213) 473-6924 or online at frank.capetillo@lacity.org

Deputy City Attorney Mark Lambert is prosecuting the cases.

 

 

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