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Thread: Intern, job-experience or Slave Labour?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default Intern, job-experience or Slave Labour?


    "It might have danced away with a handful of awards, but ballet drama 'Black Swan' is facing a bizarre legal challenge months after its cinematic release.
    Two men who worked on the film as unpaid interns have filed a lawsuit against the production company Fox Searchlight. They said that instead of learning about the film business during their internships, they had to take out rubbish, clean offices and fetch other people’s lunch.
    The pair said the widely-used practice of using interns violates employment laws, and that they aren't the only ones who suffered.
    The New York Times reports that the lawsuit claims producers made the interns do menial work that should have been done by paid employees and that was not the educational experience that labour laws require for internships.

    24-year-old Alex Footman, one of the plaintiffs, claims that his main duties on the film were ensuring the coffee pot was a full and emptying the bins.
    He said: “The only thing I learned on this internship was to be more picky in choosing employment opportunities. ‘Black Swan’ had more than $300 million [£192m] in revenues. If they paid us, it wouldn’t make a big difference to them, but it would make a huge difference to us.”
    The other plaintiff, 42-year-old Eric Glatt, worked as an accounting intern, raising purchase orders and tracking missing employee information.

    The lawyer representing the pair, Adam Klein said “Unpaid interns are usually too scared to speak out and to bring such a lawsuit because they are frightened it will hurt their chances of finding future jobs in their industry” "

    Good luck to them I hope they win.

    It needs a couple of equally courageous people here in the UK to do the same.

  2. #2


    don't get it !

    they worked for free.... no contact ..... why didnt they just walk away if they were unhappy

    of course, the fact black swan has made millions has nothing to do with it does it?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    What they're saying is...

    They were promised that they would learn about "the industry" whilst working.. They didn't. They were just given menial jobs nobody wanted and...

    If they threatened to walk away then the phrase "you will never work again in this town" came out.

    Both of which sound horribly true.

  4. #4


    Ha ha. It had to happen sometime. This is a bit of a double edged sword in that they knew they would be slave labour and if not, they must be as dumb as me. It's not ok that a big production would not look after them a bit better though. I guess this could be an industry changer if they are successful. Fingers crossed.

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