Casting Couch Nightmares: What Does It Take to Make It in Hollywood?
2011-08-14 0:00

By Hollie McKay | foxnews.com

Related: Degenerates in Hollywood

The casting couch -- trading sexual favors for a role, representation or anything that will help an aspiring performer take that next step to stardom -- is alive and well in Hollywood.

Megan Fox told British GQ that she was heartbroken over the number of legendary Hollywood directors that had tried to bed her since she found fame.

Gwyneth Paltrow recently told Elle Magazine that when she was just starting out it was suggested that a business meeting be finished in the bedroom.

Lisa Rinna claimed she missed out on a role in a prominent television series because she refused to give a producer a quickie.

And in an interview with People magazine several years ago, Charlize Theron divulged that in her modeling days, she was invited to a well-known directors home for a casting call, only when she arrived he was in his pajamas mixing drinks.

Im very much aware of certain talent representatives and producers who leverage their ability to help launch careers into getting laid by green talent, Alec Shankman, former Los Angeles talent agent and founder of the online casting agency GotCast.com, told FOX411s Pop Tarts. I think, and hope, that many girls are made aware of the situation soon after getting into L.A. But when I was an agent, I made it a specific point to talk to each girl about certain situations to avoid, and in some instances, certain people.

Veteran acting coach Mirren Lee said more often than not those certain people are the not-so established industry folk that prey on inexperienced, nave actresses.

The casting couch is alive and well. Stories still come out about shonky casting people. Often these things happen with people that arent that high up or professional all the vanity/amateur/short film projects people do, she said. People who are so desperate for fame, adoration, and money are gullible and that is the key to how the shonks work.

In Lees own acting days more than thirty years ago, auditions were taking place in all sorts of odd places often in ones apartment and at the tender age of 16, she didnt realize this in itself was a red flag.

I showed up at this one audition, a guy answers the door and takes me to the bedroom and demands I do certain things to him. I was very nave, and just told him straight I couldnt possibly do that, Lee recalled. The guy must have thought I was endearing, because when I asked to go he said I couldnt yet because there was another girl in the living room with his business partner. That was one of many, but Im actually one of the lucky ones nothing bad happened to me.

Yet the passage of time certainly doesnt seem to have killed off the plague.

I had one client who was lured away by a larger agency, the new agent took her out to celebrate and made a move on her that very night. She was smart enough to resist and put him back in check, but I found out later about others who were not as fortunate, Shankman said. I also know of a former agent at another agency who would have clients stay at his house while they got settled although that never seemed to end well.

According to one performer we talked to, who recently had enough of the industry and left, despite a lengthy and successful career, some predators just wont take no for an answer.

Theres an agent at one of the top five agencies in town who emails me often and begs for naked pictures of me, she said. And he tells me, the slu**ier, the better.

But be warned, even if one does concede, it still doesnt guarantee the gig or the coveted contract.

I went for an audition to sing in an opera variety show and on arrival I stood by the piano to sing my piece. The 'director' asked me to move around the room and sing it again. I did. He then said, 'you will need to interact with the audience, I want you to sing it again and work around me, rub yourself up against my chair, the songstress told us. Wanting the job I did as requested not a comfortable or natural way to perform an aria. With the pianist in the room, it was a very demoralizing experience and I didnt get the gig.

And given the nature of the entertainment arena, it isnt just the ladies of Tinseltown that have to deal with this type of dilemma.

[A male talent agent] massively came on to me telling me how amazing I was, how I was going to be the next star, and then the next thing you know he had his hands on my legs and rubbing my back and telling me I was to stay in his hotel room, a 23-year-old aspiring male actor, who met with a high-profile agent at a Los Angeles restaurant after moving to the city just a few weeks ago, revealed. I told him no, and that I was going home. He got really angry and forceful and insisted I was staying there, so I just got up and left.

Needless to say, there was no offer for representation.
Nonetheless, Shankman assured us that there are still plenty of flowers among the weeds in the biz and although the predators will probably never disappear, the most important thing is educating young talent on the issue.

As long as they are smart enough to realize that success isnt driven by the casting couch the problem will hopefully continue to diminish over time, he said. There are some incredible executives throughout Hollywood who are not looking to take advantage, but rather to nurture.

Source: foxnews.com



Related: Degenerates in Hollywood



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Professor: Reason Itself Is A White Male Construct
2015-07-04 3:55
A philosophy and religion professor at Syracuse University gave an interview to The New York Times Thursday in which he critiqued the notion of pure reason as simply being a “white male Euro-Christian construction.” Prof. John Caputo was being interviewed by fellow philosophy professor George Yancy for the 13th installment of an interview series Yancy conducts with philosophers regarding racial topics. Given its emphasis on first principles ...
The Broken Window Fallacy
2015-07-04 3:48
Youtube description: This short video explains one of the most persistent economic fallacies of our day. Source: youtube.com
Jenji Kohan and the Jewish Hyper-Sexualization of Western Culture
2015-07-04 3:33
As detailed in The Culture of Critique, Freud and his followers regarded anti-Semitism was a universal pathology which had its roots in sexual repression. The theoretical basis for this can be found in Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality where he linked aggression to the frustration of human drives — especially the sex drive. Kevin MacDonald notes that: ...
Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths
2015-07-03 3:28
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies. MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery. FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
Gays Rights May Open Door for Pedophile Rights
2015-07-03 3:31
Democrats have attempted to normalize pedophilia as a sexual orientation. A recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage may soon allow pedophiles to argue they are suffering discrimination. “Using the same tactics used by ‘gay’ rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,” writes Jack Minor ...
More News »