Alex Footman and Eric Glatt should not be allowed to enlarge their class action suit to include all Fox Entertainment Group interns, says Fox Searchlight. In a 24-page memorandum filed Wednesday in New York federal court (read it here), the studio claims that the request the former Black Swan interns’ made last month is speculative and not even plausible. Fox Searchlight did concede that former intern Eden Antalik could serve as a rep for interns in its NYC office. They did not do the same for Kanene Gratts, who served as an intern on (500) Days of Summer back in early 2008 in LA. Fox, who co-produced that film, claims that Gratts is time-barred under California law, which has a four-year statute of limitations. The plaintiffs sought to have Antalik and Gratts added in August when they sought to expand the claim. Yesterday Fox Searchlight also said that the action’s claims of overtime pay compensation for Gratts are baseless. The suit “is devoid of even a naked assertion that Gratts or any CA Class member worked beyond 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day, and its assertion that Gratts ‘worked three days per week for approximately 25 hours per week according to a set schedule’ suggests that she did not ever work any OT,” the filing says.
Footman and Glatt first filed on behalf of themselves and more than 100 Fox Searchlight interns back in September 2011. Their aim was to seek back wages for work they believe they should have been paid for. Additionally their suit sought to stop what the plaintiffs say is the studio’s incorrect use of students for what is supposed to be training similar to that provided by an educational institution, not getting coffee and other grunt work. Early last October, after the initial suit was filed, the studio fired back that the two were never Fox Searchlight interns and that they were actually working for Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky’s production company. Adam Klein, Rachel Bien and Elizabeth Wagoner of New York firm Outten & Golden represent Alex Footman and Eric Glatt. Elise Bloom and Amy Melican of Proskauer Rose’s New York office represent Fox Searchlight.