Court Affirms California’s Talent Agencies Act
Law Regulates Agents and Managers, Protects Artists
In a win for members, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed last week the constitutionality of the Talent Agencies Act, which was created to protect performers by regulating talent agents.
The law, which regulates the business and act of procuring employment of artists, including actors, in the entertainment industry, has been the subject of numerous challenges, the most recent lodged by the National Conference of Professional Managers (NCOPM) in 2015. The NCOPM claimed the law was unconstitutional and should not apply to managers who procure employment for their clients. Their arguments included claims that the law was vague and impacted their First Amendment rights. In its ruling, the court soundly rejected all of the NCOPM’s claims.
“I am pleased by the court’s decision. Although the majority of the management community cares about their clients’ best interests, there are some who do not. This law protects our members in their search for employment and sends a strong message that regulation of talent agents and managers matters more than ever,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.
“The Talent Agencies Act is an important law that protects our members, and the union is gratified that the Court understands the critical role it plays and resisted attempts to undermine it,” SAG-AFTRA Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
In a friend-of-the-court brief SAG-AFTRA submitted in support of the law, the union argued for the importance of the act in protecting our members. “The Talent Agencies Act and the unions’ franchise systems are critical to protecting vulnerable individuals in an environment where aspirants quite literally will do almost anything to ‘make it big.’ These protections help to balance the power between artists and their representatives.”