Industry: Irish Equity warns members of unscrupulous activities of film companies

Irish Equity has called on members to display caution before committing to projects due to the unscrupulous activities of some production companies which include false claims about the other actors involved and the underpayment or non-payment of fees.

The call follows reports to Irish Equity over the weekend relating to the activities of a production company.

SIPTU Arts and Culture Sector Organiser, Karan O’Loughlin, said: “I have received a number of complaints over the weekend from Equity members, concerning misleading advertisements for a casting.

“Irish Equity has also received complaints about the production company involved in relation to the underpayment and nonpayment of fees. This is unacceptable behaviour and an example of the exploitation of actors. Our members have reported that there is increased pressure within the industry on them to work for very low pay and even for free. This is particularly worrying where younger actors are involved as they often don’t have the industry experience to recognise the obvious pitfalls”.

She added: “The State financed funding bodies for the industry need to have closer scrutiny of how production companies operate. The Irish Film Board, the Arts Council and Revenue need to take measures to ensure that the substantial investment made by the State flows down to actors in the way it is meant to. It is high time that the exploitation by actors ceased and production companies were called to account for their behaviour. Equity also urges actors to be cautious and to ensure that they find out all they can about productions before committing themselves to any particular project”.