Screen Actors Guild Announces Passage of Consumer Protection Legislation

Screen Actors Guild Announces Passage of Consumer Protection Legislation

Screen Actors Guild, Assistant Majority Leader Krekorian and Deputy L.A. City Attorney Mark Lambert Announce Passage of Consumer Protection Legislation

Los Angeles (October 21, 2009)
- Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (D-Burbank), flanked by children, their families, Screen Actors Guild executives, law enforcement and others, announced the passage of legislation to protect young actors from scams that could save families millions of dollars.

"Complaints from consumers about acting and modeling scams have doubled every year since 2006," Assemblyman Krekorian said. "These scams financially and psychologically hurt Californians because state law was inadequate to properly deal with disreputable talent scouts. My bill offers a comprehensive approach to protecting children and others by setting guidelines under which legitimate businesses can operate, alerting consumers to dishonest business practices and by providing law enforcement with the tools necessary for investigation and prosecution. With this law in place, we now have a powerful tool that will protect children and save California families millions of dollars."

Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard said the legislation will offer greater protections to innocent young actors. "AB 1319 is an example of how we can protect innocent, well-intentioned people from paying for goods that no person or entity can promise or deliver," said Howard, whose organization co-sponsored the bill. "The promise of acting jobs is no longer for sale. Screen Actors Guild has a long history of protecting children. In fact, since our founding members organized SAG in 1933, our union has helped create numerous laws and bargained critical contract provisions designed solely to protect children's income, education, and most of all, their safety and well being."

David White, national executive director for SAG, said the new law will responsible for “safeguarding the rules of the road for this industry for our members, and for the children who are members, and for children generally.”

SAG National Board Member Hill Harper, a star of CSI: New York and co-chair of the SAG National Legislative Committee, said, “Unfortunately we live in a time where people who have malicious intent are using more and more sophisticated means to take advantage of the people who can protect themselves the least. And legislation like this represents, I believe, the beginning of dealing with this.”

Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Mark Lambert, whose office sponsored the bill, also praised the bill as a vitally necessary instrument. "Talent scams have been a growth industry for decades in California," Lambert said. "Thanks to AB 1319, prosecutors around the state can finally tell talent scam victims there is a law that will protect them and send a message to talent scammers they will have to hold their next auditions in jail."

Anne Henry, founder of the advocacy group BizParentz Foundation, said, “We’re hoping that this bill will cut through for our organization the huge burden that this has become. We’ve seen literally thousands of complaints.”

Assemblymember Paul Krekorian represents the cities of Burbank and Glendale, and the Los Angeles communites of Atwater Village, Los Feliz, North Hollywood, Silver Lake, Toluka Lake, Valley Glen and Van Nuys. His website is www.assembly.ca.gov/krekorian. Follow him on Twitter @PaulKrekorian and Facebook.

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About SAG
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 actors who work in film and digital television programs, motion pictures, commercials, video games, music videos, industrials and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

Contact:

Pamela Greenwalt, Screen Actors Guild, (323) 549-6872, pgreenwalt@sag.org
Jeremy Oberstein, Assemblymember Krekorian’s Office, (818) 558-3043, jeremy.oberstein@asm.ca.gov
Mark Lambert, Deputy L.A. City Attorney, (213) 978-8092