Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:36 AM
Posted 15 October 2017 - 09:28 AM
Parents bring their kids to Hollywood and get scammed.
“We used to think stars were something special and unique,” said Henry. “But the whole industry has switched gears. Now we think anybody can be a star. Which means every parent is open to scams.”
Traditional ploys include overpriced courses and publicity photographs, pitched on empty promises of catching the eye of casting directors and talent scouts. “Now they say, ‘I can make you a YouTube star, or get you followers.’ It’s more fame-oriented because the culture values being famous more than what you can do,” said Henry.
Parents pay thousands of dollars for elaborate publicity shots, not realizing casting directors prefer unadorned headshots, and even more for purported modelling academies, not realizing the industry scorns them, according to Taylor.
“You don’t need classes and fancy pictures,” she said, “but many parents don’t know any better.
“We all know that it’s bogus. They’re not places casting agents go to scout talent. It doesn’t do anything for the children other than put them in a precarious position to be victimised.”
Controversy also swirls over the Young Artist Awards, a fringe annual event for those aged five to 21 that hands out statuettes but lacks stars and takes place in an ageing hotel where middle-aged male autograph collectors are among those seeking out nominees. Some former organisers have had troubling backgrounds with minors, including two men convicted of sex crimes.
Elijah Wood spoke out about “darkness” in Hollywood’s underbelly last year, briefly reviving a debate about abuse which blazed during Michael Jackson’s child 2005 molestation trial.