Is it a conflict of interest for a casting director of a popular television series to offer casting workshops to actors for a fee?
For the producers behind popular CBS series Criminal Minds it is. Series casting director Scott David was relieved of his duties after a Hollywood Reporter article that covered his two roles as casting director of a major television series while also owning The Actors Link, an acting workshop program that many saw as a “pay to play” situation that would charge actors for auditions for roles on David’s long-running series. This would be in violation of California’s Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act of 2009, a law that is supposed to stop such scandals but has yet to be prosecuted by Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office since becoming law.
Even agents and managers interviewed by the Hollywood Reporter said that David’s workshops were a “wonderful” way to get in front of a casting director — though the idea of a casting direct essentially charging for auditions was clearly very uncomfortable for Criminal Minds.
David defended his intention behind the classes to the Hollywood Reporter, explaining, ““It’s about marketing yourself. These workshops are a gymnasium for the actors to learn about casting directors, to learn the process, to alleviate certain fears, to create relationships, to link themselves together with all sorts of people and market themselves.”
Of course, the question remains: was David essentially charging actors to cast them on the show, then collecting fees from the show for casting actors?