For All The Talk From Hollywood About Making Sure People Get Paid, Why Doesn't It Pay Interns?
from the because-it's-never-been-about-getting-anyone-paid-by-studio-bosses dept
We hear the refrain from the entertainment industry all the time, about how they are fighting against modern technology because without it, people don’t get paid, and how unfair is that? The RIAA’s Cary Sherman keeps talking about all those lost jobs (even though his math doesn’t add up), and talking about all the people the movie industry “employs” (exaggerated by an order of magnitude) has become a key part of the MPAA boss Chris Dodd’s stump speech.
So, isn’t it interesting that the entertainment industry may be facing a potentially big class action problem… for not paying interns? Apparently, it’s quite common for entertainment industry heavyweights to take on unpaid interns, usually eager kids hoping to “break into” the business. But, federal law (and the key state laws) are pretty explicit in noting that “free” internships are almost always illegal for for-profit companies.
Now, to be clear, I actually don’t think free internships — entered into willingly — should be illegal (just as I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people volunteering to do stuff for free). But if Hollywood is running around whining about getting more people paid… it seems pretty hypocritical to then not pay people working for you.