SAG-AFTRA has halted an auction of audition tapes that was set for this week at Julien’s Auctions. The union claims such tapes are private and protected under SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreements. The Beverly Hills-based auction house had advertised the sale of a variety of casting videos as part of its Hollywood Legends auction Friday and Saturday. A posting on Julien’s website said the videos included Leonardo DiCaprio’s audition for the role of Ponyboy in The Outsiders; Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr, Keanu Reeves and Dermot Mulroney for the film Backdraft; and Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Dempsey and others for roles in A Beautiful Mind among others. They were expected to nab between $2,000-$4,000 each. The auction includes more than 800 pieces of Hollywood memorabilia besides the tapes. Here’s the statement SAG-AFTRA released today:
SAG-AFTRA considers the right of performers to control the use of their image to be of utmost importance and we vigorously protect those rights. Our collective bargaining agreements include protections for performers against exploitation of audition and interview tapes, which must be erased upon performers’ request. Failure to comply with such a request will result in formal legal action pursuant to the agreements. Unauthorized use of audition and interview footage may also result in claims against producers and casting directors under right of publicity and/or privacy laws.
“Auditions are not public performances, and under SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreements performers are entitled to expect them to remain private. SAG-AFTRA, on behalf of our members, has requested that Julien’s Auctions discontinue the sale of these private tapes, and they have agreed to do so immediately,” said SAG-AFTRA General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.