I’m gonna discuss something that we haven’t talked about in a while.
Derek Hay put out a press release last October stating that producers would have to pay an extra 20 dollars per production day “testing fee” for talent booked through any agent associated with LATATA. This 20 dollar per day fee would only apply to those companies who required 14 day tests. Anyone who was OK with a thirty day test would be exempt from this fee.
We talked about this and the fact that the agents, led by tough guy wannabe gangster pimp Derek Hay were shaking down the producers, but more importantly it showed all of the people who were against the industry and/or trying to regulate it that we weren’t on the same page with testing protocols. When people like Lorelei Lee profess to the members of the State Assembly that the industry requires talent testing every 10 days, she’s put in the position of being a liar by people like Derek Hay and the agents of LATATA who are not only cool with 30 day tests, they reward producers who go with the least safe option by not charging them the testing fee.
So, LATATA lowering the standard for testing damaged the industry in two ways. First, it showed officials in Sacramento that there is not a unified front when it comes to testing requirements and that the 14 day regimen is merely an option. Second, it gave producers the financial incentive to be less safe.
We’re now being told that this fee has been raised to 30 dollars across the board. Meaning, 7 day, 10 day, 14 day or 30 day doesn’t matter. Everyone is subject to the “testing fee.” And get this: talent receive no portion of this fee. It goes straight into the agents’ pockets. We know this for a fact. Derek Hay and the agents of LATATA are now charging 30 dollars per production day for each of the talent booked through their agencies on top of their normal $100 a day booking fee.
My question is why?
Why is Derek Hay doing this now and why is he getting away with it? Why is nobody in the business putting their foot down and saying “Fuck you, Derek Hay!” Why isn’t everybody telling LATATA to get fucked? Given the state of the business right now, why is anybody dealing with bullshit from agents and paying outrageous, unfair and illegal fees to these pimps? Can anyone please explain this to me?
Legislators are drafting bills to make producers pay for tests, even though talent may only work for them one day. Why have agents gotten a pass when it comes to paying for performers’ tests? They are collecting a booking fee, a testing fee and 20% of the talents’ money. They can’t take some of that and put it into a pool for testing? It seems unfair that a producer should have to bear the brunt of this cost when they only are using a performer for one day.
The best part is all of these agents operate illegally. Somehow they have escaped the attention of state regulators, legislators and law enforcement. The ‘L’ in LATATA stands for licensed. That’s their big thing, that they are licensed and bonded. They ratted out any agents who weren’t. A talent agency license is to protect talent from unscrupulous agents. One of the rules is not to send talent to an unsafe work environment or to a place where there is illegal activity. When an agent sends talent to work without condoms, it is an unsafe work environment and it is illegal within the County of Los Angeles and soon the State of California. An agent is not supposed to send talent to illegal escorting gigs like Derek Hay does. Sex trafficking is a big no-no with the state agency licensing board.
Because these agencies operate illegally, the contracts that they coerce talent into signing are completely invalid and unenforceable. These girls are basically sold into slavery when they are bullied by people like Derek and Sandy at OC Modeling and are told that they will be blacklisted and kept from working if they violate these illegal contracts.
To all the talent out there: What these agents are telling you is bullshit. There are not many people out there shooting right now and the ones who are like Axel Braun, Brad Armstrong, Will Ryder, Manwin and Jackie and Beau at New Sensations could give two shits about agents. You think Jako Dema at Digital Playground gives a fuck about these agents? He’ll book any of you girls around these piece of shit agents. He’ll do it tomorrow. And not one of these scumbag agents will call them up and threaten them. You think an agent is gonna call up Axel Braun and threaten him? Tell me what girl is gonna turn down a role in Snow White or Sleeping Beauty because their piece of shit agent Derek Hay tells them not to do it?
But let’s face it. Until people like Axel Braun, Jako Dema and Will Ryder get together and collectively tell Derek Hay, Mark Schechter and Mark Spiegler to go fuck themselves, the abuse will continue. Tell me this. Why is it that everyone complains about the city and the state abusing them, but nobody has the balls to stand up to these pimps?
Why the fuck are agents not paying for their own talents tests? How the fuck are they able to take 20% from the girl, a 100 dollar booking fee and a 30 dollar testing fee on top of that? How does that work? And you all sit there and accept it. How do you justify dealing with somebody like Derek Hay and letting him call the shots? Why are you not all banding together and demanding that agents pay for the tests? The agents got together and formed the organization LATATA. Why are the top producers in the business not forming their own coalition?
Axel Braun is paying for talent testing. On top of that he has to pay an extra 30 dollars for talent per day. If I shoot a girl one day and Axel shoots her another day and we agree to split the testing cost between us, Derek Hay is gonna have that little English cunt Fran call us up and say that we each owe 30 dollars? Are you insane?
People go to Sacramento and complain about all the added costs associated with the condom bill. But nobody has a problem with agents like Derek Hay charging 30 dollars a head for talent testing that the talent doesn’t get? Nobody has a problem with the agents not bearing any of the burden of costs? How does this work, guys? They send their girls out to work and make all this money from them, from you and they don’t have to lay out anything extra with all of these new regulations? You’re all cool with that? Axel Braun, you’re cool with that? Will Ryder, you’re cool with that? Jako Dema, you’re cool with that?
You’re all cool with Derek Hay not having to lay out any money for testing but you all have to? When this bill gets signed next week and you all have to pay for testing, but Derek Hay gets a free pass, you’re all cool with that? Sandy at OC Modeling gets a free pass? Mark Schechter gets a free pass? Mark Spiegler gets a free pass? You all have to pay but they don’t have to?
What Axel Braun, Jako Dema, Will Ryder and all the top producer/directors should do is what old school pornographers like Russ Hampshire did and get everybody together and meet at Brent’s Deli and appoint a spokesperson to go to Derek Hay and to OC Modeling and ATMLA and say, “Fuck you. You’re paying for the tests and if you don’t like it, we’re not gonna use your fucking talent anymore. How’s that, assholes? And we’re gonna call your talent up and say if you want to work for us, we’re gonna book you direct. If you wanna take 100 dollars of your money and pay your agent an additional 20% and a 30 dollar testing fee, go ahead. We’re not doing it. You deal with your pimp.” Watch how fast these girls get in line. The ones that don’t, fuck em. Let them go work for Porno Dan.
That’s my challenge to the top producers. If you continue to let these agents abuse you, you’re all a bunch of gutless pansies. The fact that all of these regulations are coming down and these pimps don’t share any of the costs is absurd. For you to allow them to take a 30 dollar testing fee that the girls don’t see a dime of is disgusting.
Tell the agents that the free ride is over. Grow some balls and take the business back from these Iceberg Slim wannabe cocksuckers.
Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: firstname.lastname@example.org