How It All Began

In 2003, New York enacted the Child Performer Education and Trust Act, a very basic law that established the Department of Labor's right to produce and enforce regulations to keep child performers and their earnings safe. Unfortunately, Labor dropped the ball until 2007, when a 21-year-old Brazilian runway model died during Fashion Week due to an eating disorder. In response, lawmakers established the Child Performer Advisory Board to Prevent Eating Disorders to address eating disorders in the modeling industry, which recommended bizarre regulations of CHILD PERFORMERS, not models or dancers. Here's the rest of the story.

Dear Governor

Dear Governor Paterson, Something is not right at the NYS Department of Labor and I would like your help in sorting out this mess before a bunch of bad ideas become a very bad law. I’m going back to the long standing, often applied, good old fashioned “smell test” and declaring the changes proposed by the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) to 2 NYCRR Part 186 Rules Regarding Child Performers, and the manner in they are being promulgated, do not pass the “smell test.” Or better yet, they don’t pass the proverbial “newspaper test.” Obviously, it gives me pause to write this letter and offer it up publicly but the process leaves few options and the clock is ticking. Click "more" to read our letter to Governor Paterson.

778 Signatures Strong

Our petition, signed by 778 men, woman, and children from New York, and around the nation, spoke with one voice when they signed our petition advocating for safe working conditions for child performers and healthy regulations for the NY entertainment industry. Many others expressed their silent support out of concern that producers and directors would view advocates as a contentious on-set agitators who would be unwilling to let little lapses in safety or working conditions slide. As news travels fast in this very tight knit community, many child performer families as well as adults in the industry were unwilling to risk their career and loss of future work by being branded a troublemaker.

Eating Disorder Task Force

In 2007, a 21-year-old Brazilian runway model died during Fashion Week due to an eating disorder. In response, lawmakers established the Child Performer Advisory Board to Prevent Eating Disorders to address eating disorders in the modeling industry. The Board, comprised of eating disorder counselors as well as modeling and dance performance advocates, quickly discovered that Labor only had the right to regulate children working film, television and theatre industries, not the modeling and dance industries. Rather than disbanding, the Board recommended bizarre and onerous regulations that would apply only to child performers without any evidence to suggest the prevalence of eating disorders within this group. It should be noted that no medical doctors sat on the board, the American Academy of Pediatrics had no knowledge of the group, and the leading child performer advocacy group, BizParentz Foundation, were not invited to participate. Click "more" to read the Advisory Board report.

The Final Position Statements

In 2003, New York enacted the Child Performer Education and Trust Act, a very basic law, that established the Dept. of Labor's right to produce and enforce regulations to keep child performers and their earnings safe. Unfortunately, Labor dropped the ball until 2007, when a 21-year-old Brazilian runway model died during Fashion Week due to an eating disorder. Her death kicked off an extraordinarily flawed process that, in 2010 resulted in very bad proposed regulations. After intense advocacy and a much needed change in Labor's leadership, healthy regs were passed in 2013. Recently, the regs were amended to include child models.

Child Performers Coalition

In 2010, Child Performers Coalition was formed in response to regulations proposed by the New York Department of Labor that we believe would create unsafe working conditions for 6,000 child performers and increase costs and challenges for over 500 film, television, and theatre productions. Our mission is to work with parents, child performers, production companies, governments, entertainment industry organizations and other advocates to encourage film, television and theatrical productions to do business in New York and protect the physical, mental and financial well being of child performers. Click "more" to read our position statement.

Motion Picture Association

The Motion Picture Association of America is" the voice of one of the country’s strongest and most vibrant industries – the American motion picture, home video and television industry. We aspire to advance the business and the art of filmmaking and celebrate its enjoyment around the world. Our members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc." Click "more" to read the MPAA's position statement.

BizParentz Foundation

The BizParentz Foundation is a non-profit corporation that serves as a collaborative effort of parents, government, and industry organizations, by providing education, advocacy, and charitable support to parents and children engaged in the entertainment industry. BizParentz is uniquely dedicated to bringing awareness to legislative issues, researching industry solutions, writing educational articles, and planning special events. Parent members actively help others by bringing legislative issues to the forefront, researching industry solutions, writing educational articles, and planning special events. Click "more" to read the "BizParentz" position statement.

Screen Actor's Guild

The child performer regulations were resolved prior to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) merger. SAG-AFTRA represents more than 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Click "more" to read SAG's position statement.

AFTRA

The child performer regulations were resolved prior to the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) merger. SAG-AFTRA represents more than 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Click "more" to read the AFTRA Position Statement.

Actors' Equity

Actors' Equity Association ("AEA" or "Equity"), founded in 1913, is the labor union that represents more than 50,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans, for its members. Actors' Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. Although Equity was a stakeholder during negotiations, we do not have a copy of their position statement.

On Location Education

Founded in 1982, On Location Education remains the nation’s premier educational consulting service for young performers. We offer complete coordination of on-set education services for film, television, and theatre productions, as well as for child models, young athletes, recording artists, circus performers, and children of celebrities or traveling business people. Click "more" for On Location Education's position statement.
About Kelly Crisp

Kelly Crisp is a strategic communications and development consultant working in New York City, Connecticut and with clients nationwide. Capitalizing on her background as a successful attorney and felony prosecutor, lobbyist and mediator, Kelly works with companies to sharpen messages, strengthen strategy, enhance relationships, and, in the end, transform companies. She believes clear authentic communication removes barriers to understanding, which allows for a greater awareness and elevation of pressure points, translating into trust between individuals and groups. In turn, the establishment of trust allows for insightful discussions and the development of a healthy consensus, that work together to drive smart strategy. Whether in a courtroom in front of a jury, in a statehouse testifying before lawmakers, in the media creating awareness, or working with clients, Kelly frames stories that sell and helps produce positive momentum that inspires excellence. Kellyʼs unique experience in fast-paced and creative fields allows her to quickly plug into dynamic, multi-dimensional frameworks, understand subtleties, and offer keen insight that inspires tangible solutions. To realize results, Kelly doesn't just check a box, she sits in the box, then tunnels under the box, floats over the box and take the 360 degree tour around the box.