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UK Talent Agencies Face Investigation By Government Regulator Amid Misconduct Claims

EXCLUSIVE: The government-backed body responsible for policing UK talent agencies has launched an industry-wide investigation amid concerns over the conduct of certain companies.

Deadline understands that the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EASI) is looking at the entertainment space, including carrying out inspections on agencies.

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EASI declined to comment on the probe, nor would it identify the companies that will be subject to compliance visits. It is not clear when its work will be concluded or if its findings will be published.

EASI sits within the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and enforces the Employment Agencies Act of 1973.

Complaints about individual companies can spark investigations, but a source suggested that the entertainment industry inspections are broader in scope.

Deadline is aware that the EASI has received complaints about two agencies in recent months: Bodhi Talent and Mad Dog 2020 Casting.

Bodhi Talent has been accused of withholding cash from clients, while sister agency, Luna Kids Casting, allegedly charged parents potentially unlawful representation fees worth hundreds of pounds.

Mad Dog 2020 Casting is scrambling to pay scores of clients for work they undertook in 2023. Bectu, the UK union, reported the company to EASI.

Deadline revealed last week that Equity and Bectu are taking legal action against Mad Dog on behalf of members owed money by the agency, which specializes in supplying background actors to productions including Call the Midwife and Doctor Who.

Under UK regulations, it is unlawful for an agency to withhold payment from clients for more than 10 days after receiving funds from a producer, broadcaster, or streamer.

Bodhi has previously denied wrongdoing, but recently filed for closure. Its efforts to shut down were halted by former clients who objected to the strike-off.

Mad Dog has apologized to clients and said it remains committed to clearing its backlog of outstanding payments. It added that jobs undertaken in 2024 will be paid in a “normal manner.”

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