Two interns who worked on Oscar-winning movie Black Swan have filed suit against the film studio as part of a dispute over unpaid work placements.
Alex Footman and Eric Glatt filed a lawsuit in a New York court on Wednesday (28Sep11) taking aim at executives of Fox Searchlight Pictures, alleging they were taken on as interns but ended up covering duties which should have been undertaken by paid employees.
The lawsuit states, "Fox Searchlight's unpaid interns are a crucial labour force on its productions, functioning as production assistants and bookkeepers and performing secretarial and janitorial work. In misclassifying many of its workers as unpaid interns, Fox Searchlight has denied them the benefits that the law affords to employees."
Footman, a 24-year-old film studies graduate, tells the New York Times, "The only thing I learned on this internship was to be more picky in choosing employment opportunities. Black Swan had more than $300 million in revenues. If they paid us, it wouldn't make a big difference to them, but it would make a huge difference to us."
Fox Searchlight spokesman Russell Nelson says, "We just learned of this litigation and have not had a chance to review it so we cannot make any comment at this time."