Hollywood's Phony-Diploma Mills Help Underage Actors Labor In Film Biz Underground - 2014-09-28
"About six years ago," recalled studio teacher Judy Brown, "we had a 15-year-old actress on a soap opera and her agent was pushing her mom to have the girl declared Legal 18 so she could be 'more competitive' and not have the restrictions of child labor laws."
At the agent's urging, the mother enrolled her daughter in the Dennison Academy, paid a $250 fee by credit card, and the following Saturday took the girl to an office building with a small room filled with other teens, almost all actors, sitting at old-fashioned school desks. The mother later told Brown that the "principal" Larry Dennison, gave the children a simple multiple-choice test and then asked each of them to write an essay about what they'd done on their summer vacations. The whole thing took less than an hour. Dennison collected the papers, left the room and returned a half hour later. "Everybody passed!" Brown said. "It's crazy."