• Report: #1121424
Complaint Review:

Central Casting

  • Submitted: Thu, February 06, 2014
  • Updated: Thu, February 06, 2014

  • Reported By: Rob — Forked River New Jersey
Central Casting
875 6 Ave New York, New York USA

Central Casting EP PartnersCasting Networks Blacklisting Actors and their Family that are SAG/Aftra Union Members New York New York

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I too was Blacklisted by Central's client

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Melissa Leisure is a LAWYER

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I've worked as a Background Actor for over 5 Years in NYC Area. I've worked for 2 Years as a Non-Union Background Actor to achieve enough Waivers to Join the SAG Union. I Joined the Sag Union for $2400 and was proud of my accomplishment. I also joined the Aftra Union for $1663 and became a member. I was working regularly at least 3 days a week. My wife and children joined Aftra at $1663 each, which later became SAG/Aftra as the Union merged. One Union now we have Power in Numbers. In the 5 years as a Background Actor, I was NEVER late or ever had a problem on ANY set! I always conducted myself as a professional as being a business owner for over 20 years.

Then a day came this past August when another BG Actor came back into wardrobe and pushed all of my clothes on the rack so I couldn't get them. The wardrobe Crew was there and saw what happened. I asked the actor why he was so pushy. He said " You haven't seen pushy yet!" I finished dresing and then started to report to my car since I was a BG Car Driver for this Show. As I walked out the door, I turned around to find that actor behind me.

I was assaulted and then I started to protect myself. We were both stopped by a Locations Crew Member. I returned to holding and was addressed by an AD about what had happened. I explained and was told by him I was getting sent home for the day. My wife was also on set and stayed for the crew to maintain her professionalism. The AD said that he would call casting to make sure the other actor and I didn't work together on his set. I had no problem with that.

I drove back home and called SAG - Mary Hatch to report what had happened. I also tried to call Courtney from Central to report to her what had happened and she said she could not talk to me. I later received a call from Melissa Leisure from Central Casting Legal Depttelling me that I was terminated from Central Casting. I asked her why since I was doing nothing WRONG but protecting myself. I told her the whole story and she said she would get back to me.

A few days later, I received a email that I was terminated indefinately from ANY projects that Central Casting was casting. That's about 80% of all the NY business. Since then, I have NOT receive a job from Central Casting! The worst part is my family that was working for Central have not worked since September either. My wife was working 3 to 4 days a week before this happene, mostly through Central. 

I heard from many actors that might have had an arguement with a PA or Casting Assistant. They might have had a problem being late with an Antique Car. They might of said something about a meal Penalty or something in our contract we are entitled too. Should that constitute for them for not giving us work anymore? So our lively hood lies in the hands of sometimes incompetent people, (for some of whom this may be their first job) whether we can work or not without a warning or investigation of an incident.

I hear that some actors are working all the time if they hire an ex-employee of a casting company for $50 a month to get their name on a list sent to their old agency. I hear there are actors working who send gifts to Central Casting such as Fruit Baskets or other things. They are being casted without any Casting Notices sent out and bring other Non Union Actors with them to get Waivered when there are Union Actors available.

I feel that my family and I have been BLACKLISTED. We have invested many thousands of dollars to ensure that we all have a livelyhood in the entertainment buiness. I tried to talk with our Union but they said they have no CONTROL on the Major Casting Agency of NYC that controls 80 % of all the Films & Television filmed in our Area. So being a Union Member entitles me to NO TYPE OF WORK at all.

So PLEASE be Aware of the PRACTICES of Cental Casting and their many casting Assistants and Directors.

Thank you,

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/06/2014 10:11 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/central-casting/new-york-new-york-10001/central-casting-ep-partnerscasting-networks-blacklisting-actors-and-their-family-that-are-1121424. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I too was Blacklisted by Central's client

AUTHOR: LauraAnnTull - (USA)

 I worked for Central for 5 years. Then i complained about a guy who sexually assaulted me. I was tripped on a set so bad i could not bend my legs for a week. I had lost my breasts to cancer. I have since found out i have hashimotos. I am hyper and 10 pounds under weight. I have not been able to get my weight to normal for me since 2008. Being from blacklisted from Central is the equivalency of being blacklisted from the industry. central is owned by Entertainment partners, the largest payroll company for entertainment in the US. As of i believe 2012 EP has 80% of the union payroll work in the US. People with the attitude that Central blacklisting someone is not the end of the world, it can be if you are trained in theater, acting or film production. Central had me cancelled off a show i was fit to work even though i was willing to work. Their legal department told me their client, Disney as far as i can tell, told them to get rid of me or they would be terminated. I called EP pretending to be a productiom company and they told me that i was let go for lack of work. I have since found out that phrase is standard for unlawfully terminated for undisclosed probably illegal reasons. I heard Central was saying something else. This has progressed to the point my union sag aftra is also ostravizing me and my life is being threatened on twitter. I made enemies. I do not like corruption. I sent cards to casting. That is it. I gave Carol Grant a scarf i knitted her once post though me being union eligible and she had already hired me for a stand on job that made me some money. It was not a bribe. We had become friends until i complained about my assault. I recently got an email from a director who knows the guy who assaulted me telling me to forgive him. Not a denial that i am a liar. I will not work if i can not work in entertainment. Im a straight female. I do not do drugs. Im not an addict. I am an honor student with a theater degree, masters in performing arts, and a certifivate from AADA. I love acting so much the idea of a future never being on sets or around actors or with sag aftra after all the work i did makes me want to cease to exist. And i have a twitter stalker threatening to smash my leg into my head and telling me they want me to become a hermit and cease to exist.

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Melissa Leisure is a LAWYER

AUTHOR: Annonymous - (USA)

To the above poster who got "blacklisted" from Central Casting understand that Melissa Leisure is in their legal department. The tactics in which she uses are used by lawyers during dipositions for example that average everyday people don't understand. Also if you look at the e-mail in which it was sent notice the disclaimer at the bottom which reads

"This email and any attachments are confidential and intended solely for ********. If you are not a named addressee you are prohibited from reviewing, printing, disseminating, distributing, copying or altering this email or any part of it. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender of the error immediately, do not read or use the communication in any manner, destroy all copies, and delete it from your system if the communication was sent via email."

This is clearly LAWYER lingo. If I were you I would contact the California State Bar Association and file a complaint as Melissa may not be licensed to practice in the state of California. Also I would contact the Attorney General's office both in New York as well as California because Melissa Leisure and all the executives at Central Casting need to be brought up on criminal charges. If this is the kind of treatment you received along with numerous other chances are it has more to do with what they are trying to hide than anything else. It has nothing to do with you. Civil lawsuits and such are too easy for these folks. Jail time sounds like a better option. 

This company is not the beginning and end of the world when it comes to background casting. Technology will render these folks obsolete before you know it.

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