Talent in California

Sexual harassment and eating disorders are endemic in the fashion modeling industry. In 2018, the Model Alliance successfully championed the Talent Protections Act, which now requires talent agencies in California to provide educational materials on sexual harassment and eating disorders to their talent.

How the Talent Protections Act Became Law

Beginning in 2016, the Model Alliance worked closely with Assembly Member Marc Levine to develop the Talent Protections Act. This legislation was informed by models’ testimony on sexual harassment and unhealthy dieting norms in the fashion industry, a survey conducted by the Model Alliance regarding models’ experiences of sexual harassment on the job, as well as data collected by the Model Alliance alongside researchers from Harvard University and Northeastern University in the largest research study to date on the prevalence of eating disorders in the modeling industry, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. The Model Alliance collaborated with Assembly Member Levine to ensure models’ lived experiences were taken seriously in the creation of the Talent Protections Act and to call for its support. 

On September 30, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Talent Protections Act into law. The Act took effect in January 2019.

Protections Under the Talent Protections Act

The Talent Protections Act requires agencies to provide educational materials on sexual harassment prevention to their artists. Additionally, agencies must provide educational materials regarding eating disorders and nutrition to adult models. The Act also requires training in sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, and reporting resources for underage artists and their parent or legal guardian. The training must be administered by a third-party vendor approved by the California Labor Commissioner prior to obtaining an entertainment work permit in California. 

Educational Materials

Department of Fair Employment and Housing Sexual Harassment Information (Form DFEH-185):
https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2018/12/DFEH_SexualHarassmentPamphlet.pdf

Nutrition and Eating Disorder Information:
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/index.shtml

Information about the training requirements: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Entertainment-Industry-Sexual-Harassment-Prevention-Training-Requirements.html

Reporting Resources

Models who experience sexual harassment, unhealthy pressures around dieting and weight-loss, or any other work-related problem can confidentially report abuses or seek assistance by contacting Model Alliance Support. Additional resources can also be found here on the Model Alliance’s website.

Additional Information

View the text of The Talent Protections Act (AB2338).

See Marc Levine's Press Release from October 1, 2018 and the Model Alliance’s Letter of Support for the Act from September 18, 2018. 

Read more on the passage of the Talent Protections Act in WWD here.  Read Vogue’s coverage of the research study on eating disorders here and Buzzfeed’s coverage here

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