Should film extras be charged upfront fees to go to castings?

The practice of casting companies charging extras just to show up to a casting is controversial and widely viewed as unethical.

Why should an employer charge a potential employee to see them in any industry? The nature of the beast should be that employers pay a fee to casting agents to find actors and not vice versa.

Film extras are vital for movies despite being often categorized as 'the bottom of the industry'. In fact, this is an unfair assessment, as background artistes also have walk-on roles and contribute greatly to films. Without them, we would have empty film sets, and CGI background's where 'people' are supposed to be.

Well, according to the Latimes, the malpractice of charging movie extras could soon be over, as it has been deemed as violating California state law. Central Casting, the largest company for extras in the region has been ordered by the Los Angeles City Attorney's office to cease the activity.

What does this mean for the film industry in general? Are you being charged to go to castings?

film industry network members