Showbiz Personal Managers Say Talent Agencies Act Unconstitutional

The nation’s oldest and largest association of Hollywood personal managers has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the decades-old California Talent Agencies Act is unconstitutional. The National Conference of Personal Managers names California Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Labor Commissioner Julie Su in the complaint (read it here) filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. It claims the TAA violates due process, equal protection, involuntary servitude prohibitions of the 13th Amendment, and interferes with interstate commerce and free speech. A key issue, managers say, is confusion in the legislation over whether both talent agents and managers should be licensed. The lawsuit alleges that the legislation has voided personal management contracts and forced management commissions to be forfeited or returned, which NCOPM president Clinton Ford Billups Jr. said is hindering managers’ ability to adequately serve their clients. “Commission payments to personal managers that have been either wrongfully disgorged by the Labor Commissioner or negotiated away by a manager afraid to face a TAA controversy are estimated to have cost our profession in excess of one-half billion dollars,” said Billups. The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief.

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