The movie production firm The Weinstein Company is now auctioning off a three month internship. As of now the high bid is up to $25, 000. But at least the money is going to charity.
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Instead of just not paying some poor kid who has aspirations of making it in the movie business to in effect be a personal slave for a year, or two, the Weinsteins want these kids to now pay for the privilege.
And as if that were not enough, they are seeking thousands of dollars for the honor.
Have the Weinsteins not heard of all the furor and criticism that has been leveled recently against the very practice of non-paying internships? Said former interns have been suing major corporations for treating them as indentured servants and using the very term “intern” to get around minimum wage laws.
If previously only people who could afford to work for free could even consider doing an internship, now only the very rich – or the children of the very rich – will be able to do one.
The auction is being held through the website Charity Buzz, which auctions all manner of items for charitable causes.
The winner will be able to work in the department of his choice in either Los Angeles or New York. The intern is promised that he will “learn all the ins and outs of the movie business.”
The money raised here is set to go to the ACLU. The organization, known for defending the rights of workers in the past, told the Guardian, “One of the ways that the ACLU raises funds for our work to protect and defend the Bill of Rights is an annual auction. The ACLU’s auction is supported by many in the entertainment industry, who appreciate the vital work of the ACLU to protect freedom of speech and artistic expression.”
“The three month internship that was donated by The Weinstein Company to the ACLU’s auction will provide an invaluable experience for the winner of the auction, college credit, and raise significant funds absolutely critical to the ACLU’s successful defense of civil liberties and civil rights for all.”