Child protection advocates are calling for background checks for workers with access to child actors after a recent Los Angeles Times article revealed that a convicted child molester who worked as a Hollywood casting assistant for the past decade once spent five years in prison for kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old boy in 1996. The 35-year-old man currently is cooperating with a Los Angeles Police Department investigation into whether he complied with requirements for registered sex offenders and there is no evidence that he had committed any new crimes, the Time reports.
According to the Times article, the casting assistant – who obtained casting jobs using only his first and middle names but not his last name – helped find young actors for movies and the casting directors who hired him said they were unaware of his criminal conviction. The revelations from the Times article has caused anxiety among the parents of child actors auditioning for film and TV who worry the sex offender may have been alone with their children for casting sessions or obtained photos or videotapes of them.
As a result, the Times reports that many child protection advocates have called on unions to perform more thorough background checks on workers in the entertainment industry that deal with child actors, including casting agents and directors, to uncover any relevant criminal histories. However, casting directors do not have to be licensed and are not currently subjected to any drug or alcohol testing, according to the Times, and that it is up to the employer to perform background checks on casting directors and assistants. The Los Angeles Times article is available at http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/19/business/la-fi-ct-casting-director-20111119.
Background checks can help protect vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those people with special needs by screening out so-called “bad hires” that are unfit, unqualified, dishonest, and dangerous for jobs that give them access to vulnerable people. For more information on pre-employment background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background check firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – at http://www.esrcheck.com/ or call ESR Toll Free 888.999.4474.
About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco, CA area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions. ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by less than two percent of all screening firms. This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.
About ESR News:
The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected].