PhotoGate Hits Hollywood

Aug 25, 2003  •  Post A Comment

A glossy 8-by-10 photo of Megan Mullally is no longer for sale on eBay for $7. It wasn’t sold on the online auction site. It was pulled along with dozens of other actors’ head shots offered for auction in recent months, at prices up to $100 each, by someone known as MaxiRyder. Last week, in a mini-scandal that still has many in Hollywood buzzing, it was revealed that MaxiRyder was actually a casting assistant on the TV show “The West Wing” who had been running a side business selling photos of both known and unknown performers submitted to the studio by job seekers. Each time a TV role is offered in casting breakdowns, about 2,000 head shots with resumes attached flood into the casting office. A spokeswoman for Warner Bros. said the sale of actors’ photos violates company policy. The assistant is no longer with Warner Bros., though the studio said it would not officially comment on what it called a personnel matter. The ploy apparently came to light, according to Variety, after another casting director contacted the studio upon hearing about it from some concerned parents. They had seen their child’s photo on sale with personal info on view, including a phone number. Gary Zuckerbrod, president of the Casting Society of America, called the sales “extremely immoral and unprofessional.” He urged actors to be cautious about giving out private contact information. He suggested those who do not have representation get a separate secure phone number for submissions. Is selling photos common? Mr. Zuckerbrod insisted that he “can’t imagine any [of his] members would do that.”