Winnipeg agents for a Calgary-based talent agency are accused of misleading their clients into forking over cash and promising work as a movie extra.
Creative Talent uses a rented office at 201 Portage Avenue from which self-employed sales agents interview people responding to classified ads with hopes of earning money as an extra.
Two people who were interviewed and signed-up by a Creative Talent agent told Metro the agent said they had to pay $150 to have pictures printed and distributed as well as join a website for $4.98 per month. Both asked Metro not to print their names.
One said the agent guaranteed her she would get work.
Several listings on scambook.com make similar allegations, including a promise of work on the set of Home Alone 5, which was shot in Winnipeg last month.
From Calgary, Lee Robert, a manager for Creative Talent told Metro over the phone the allegations from Winnipeg are troubling to him.
“They’re not good allegations…obviously I want the truth to come out and we’ll get to the bottom of it,” Robert said.
He said clients are not required to pay any money to the company beyond a 15 per cent cut of their earnings once they get work. The website that clients said they were forced to sign up to is not even affiliated with Creative Talent, Robert said, and the company cannot guarantee anyone will get work.
Rob Macklin of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists union said several people have shared similar stories with him and, if true, the “behaviour certainly seems unethical.”
One of the accused agents was not available to speak to Metro. Robert said one agent has been dismissed due to a customer complaint, but would not say if the complaint was related.