Black Swan interns win 'slave labour' suit

2013-06-12 13:42
New York - A judge ruled on Tuesday that Fox Searchlight utilised the unpaid Black Swan interns as employees without giving them the educational experience mandated by law and thus constitutes as slave labour, reports Deadline.

This ruling comes after interns that worked on the film set of Black Swan sued Fox Searchlight for circumventing labour laws surrounding unpaid interns. Fox disagrees with the ruling and will be seeking to reverse the judgment.

In the lawsuit, Alex Footman, one of the plaintiffs in the case, states that he and other interns were made to fetch coffee and lunch and clean up the offices, basic work that is meant to be done by employed workers.

American federal law require that unpaid interns should receive the same education as they would at an educational institution and that they do not do the work of employees.

The case was filed in 2011 seeking remuneration for around a 100 previous interns of Fox.

The tradition of unpaid internships in Hollywood is widespread and seen as the only means of breaking into the industry. The outcome of this case could set a milestone in the practice in not just the entertainment industry but in other business sectors in the US as well.