Martin Weiss, former talent manager,was charged with child molestation. (Handout )
The California Senate unanimously passed a bill today that would provide greater safeguards for child actors in Hollywood, moving the measure one step closer to adoption.
The bill 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.
Following a unanimous roll-call vote on the floor of the Senate, AB 1660 returns to the Assembly to vote on minor amendments made to the proposed legislation dealing with start-up funding. If approved, the measure would move to the governor's office for a signature.
The bill has received broad support from industry trade groups, including the Assn. of Talent Agents, the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. It also received the backing of former child actors who said they were victims of abuse.
Two high-profile cases -- one involving the arrest of a youth talent manager, and the other dealing with a convicted child molester who was helping to cast children in films -- created momentum for the proposed reforms.
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Manager of young actors arrested in molestation case
Child sexual abuse cases in Hollywood attract attention