Managing Internships in Sport and Entertainment: Law, Ethics, and Practice

Michael A. Odio

In 2011 Eric Glatt may have made himself the most famous intern in the entertainment industry. He led a recently settled class-action lawsuit against Fox Searchlight over his experience as an unpaid intern for the film “Black Swan” that brought a lot of media attention and a national discussion about wage issues for interns. Seventeen years before Glatt tested the legality of an unpaid internship, another unpaid intern’s lawsuit also brought attention to a more troubling issue. Bridget O’Connor sued the psychiatric center where she was an unpaid intern alleging sexual harassment from her supervisor. The court dismissed the case on the basis that as an unpaid intern, she did not qualify for the employee sexual harassment protections offered by the Civil Rights Act (Hickman & Thompson, 2013). These cases are arguably the inevitable result of the rapid growth in internships across industries that have outpaced labor laws and managerial practice.

Open Access