On interns, the film industry, and birds (specifically, black swans)

Perhaps some of you have heard about this lawsuit, about the former interns suing Fox Searchlight over the lack of pay they received for experience/work they did on Black Swan.  

I’ve done a few quick searches on the story, and one of the things I find most interesting are the comments I’ve see splattered beneath some of the articles. There seems to be a mix of responses echoing “power to the people!” in support of the interns, along with “what did they expect?”–type comments that chastise the interns for thinking they deserved more than what they got. Yes, it’s true that many internships in desirable industries are unpaid, and for some, a rite of passage that is necessary to pursue a competitive field. But, does that make it okay? Is the honor of putting a well-known movie title on a resume a fair enough trade?  I don’t have the answers, but I’m glad that someone is asking.  I do think that this lawsuit will bring some exposure to the DOL Standards on Internship Programs.  I will be keeping my eyes on the story, and I’m interested to see where the conversation goes…

-DBO

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