A California bill seeking to protect child actors in Hollywood has passed a major legislative hurdle.
The state Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved measure AB 1660, which would require criminal background checks for talent managers, publicists, photographers and others in the entertainment industry who would have unsupervised access to young performers. It also would prohibit registered sex offenders from representing minors.
The bill is similar to a measure proposed in 2006 that died in the appropriations committee, amid opposition from some in the entertainment industry.
Child actor advocates seized on two high-profile cases late last year to create momentum for legislative reform. One case involved a longtime talent manager who specialized in representing young actors, and who subsequently pleaded no contest to two counts of child molestation. Another involved a film casting associate who had been convicted years earlier of child molestation and abduction. Charges brought in connection with his work in Hollywood were later dismissed.