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Two Casting Directors Plead No Contest In Crackdown On Pay-To-Play Acting Auditions

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Two casting directors pleaded no contest Wednesday in trials stemming from the L.A. City Attorney’s crackdown on alleged pay-to-play auditions, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

As reported at Deadline, Scott David, who was fired as casting director of the CBS show Criminal Minds after the allegations surfaced earlier this year, has pleaded no contest to one count of charging actors for an audition or employment opportunity. He was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 125 hours of community service. Ricki Maslar, a casting director who taught at the Actor’s Key, which THR describes as a “casting workshop” company, also entered a plea of no contest and has agreed to 60 hours of community service at a North Hollywood food bank, and 30 hours teaching workshops run by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

“I am pleased we’ve been able to achieve just results in these cases,” said L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, according to THR. “Most important, we’re working to protect aspiring actors from being scammed in the first place, so their dreams don’t become nightmares.”

The charges were first announced in February, when the City Attorney's office said it had filed charges against 28 individuals and five acting workshops for their alleged ties to "pay-to-play" auditions. These auditions are a direct violation of the Talent Scam Prevention Act, which was authored by then-Assemblymember Paul Krekorian and signed into law in 2009. The charges came after the city attorney’s office sent an undercover professional actor to 13 different casting workshops as part of an investigation.

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The five workshop companies that were charged included The Actors Link, The Actor’s Key, Actors Alley, Casting Network, and Studio Productions.

“Preying on the hopes and dreams of artists is one of the oldest scams in Hollywood," Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, chief operating officer and general counsel at SAG-AFTRA, said in a February release.