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SAG-AFTRA Puts Casting Websites On Notice For Charging Fees: “Performers Must Have A No-Cost Method To Submit Themselves”

SAG-AFTRA has fired a warning shot to casting websites that attempt to collect fees from actors who want to submit themselves for commercial casting.

In a letter verified by Deadline, the union said “it has come to our attention that there are a number of casting websites and apps charging a fee for performers to submit for roles. As a reminder for union jobs, performers must have a no-cost method to submit themselves for a commercial casting.”

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The letter then goes on to cite California Labor Law 450, which says “no employer, or agent or officer thereof, or other person, may compel or coerce any employee, or applicant for employment, to patronize his or her employer, or any other person, in the purchase of any thing of value.” It also references a similar law in New York.

An audition coach who runs the Instagram account Put Me On Self Tape shared the letter with her followers Friday. She also called for Hollywood to “defund the casting networks” that require a minimum fee to upload their self-tapes.

The casting process was one of the negotiating points in the union’s 2023 contract with the studios. Besides easing some of the technical requirements behind self-taping, the union was successful in negotiating that when it comes to general casting calls, actors cannot be charged a fee to access a notice (or information relating to a casting call).

Producers can’t give preferential treatment to a performer who paid a fee to a casting service, either.

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