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Is ‘exposure’ appropriate as a ‘pay’?

By FourFour - 1 May 2014 31

I have heard all of the recent controversy about the 100 dancers that were asked to work for 11hours for a Video Clip filming – and then a selection would be asked to perform at The Logies – for free.

The basis of this would be that their pay would be the ‘exposure’ they would receive.

This controversy then seemed to extend to our local FashFest – where a selection of models were offered a paid role… and the remainder would receive ‘exposure’ and ‘experience’.

Is this common? …and is this appropriate?

What’s Your opinion?

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31 Responses to
Is ‘exposure’ appropriate as a ‘pay’?
goodguybad 8:22 pm 01 May 14

Somebody familiar with fashfest here, last year no models were paid, this year three tiers were introduced depending on experience, models with previous runway experience are being paid $1000, those with some experience are being paid $500 and receiving some training and models with no experience received training prior to fashfest, this was all explained at the castings prior to any selections.

gooterz 8:12 pm 01 May 14

davo101 said :

“Artist dies of Exposure”

Equal pay for equal work.

Minimum wage isn’t that much really.

Masquara 8:05 pm 01 May 14

davo101 said :

“Artist dies of Exposure”

Isn’t it the case, though, that any profit the Riotact makes will be on the backs of the Poetixes of this site? The ones providing brilliant content for free, that makes the site worth the odd look? So Riotact is quite guilty of similar behaviour.

davo101 7:31 pm 01 May 14
justin heywood 7:07 pm 01 May 14

Come on, there’s plenty of people who work for little or nothing in the hope that it will lead to bigger things. One of the strategies to gain employment in some preferred industries is to work as a ‘volunteer’ to make contacts and beef up your resume.

Cool jobs are hard to get. There was an airline in the US that got busted because their pilots were effectively paying to fly for them, in order to boost their hours. And I think you’ll find most of the big rock stars started off by doing gigs for next to nothing.

I don’t think they’re being exploited at all. Some people are obviously prepared to do it because, for them, the potential reward (their dream career) is obviously worth the risk that they’ve worked for nothing.

Masquara 5:45 pm 01 May 14

What “exposure” is one model out of 100 going to get? This is appalling, and needs to come under the same scrutiny as employers who used to use “internships” or “trial runs” to get free work. They’re no longer allowed to. One of those models should take them to court for fair pay.

Roundhead89 5:26 pm 01 May 14

It’s a bit like somebody who writes Letters To the Editor being called a journalist. An interesting take, that one.

Funky1 5:02 pm 01 May 14

For my mind, if someone is making money out of it then everyone needs to get paid. If it’s for non-profit or a charity or some other worthy cause, then it’s ok to ask for volunteers or offer “exposure”.

One perfect example of this was the recent LFL (Ladies Gridiron show on 7MATE). The organisers were asking local photographers around the country to shoot their events for “great exposure” and the (full profit making) organisation wanted to then own the images. I’m sure someone would have said yes, but most professional or semi-professional photographers said no.

Rollersk8r 4:49 pm 01 May 14

The issue’s a lot more complex than it may seem. Countless commerical events rely on volunteers to some degree. And how many fulltime professional catwalk models are there in Canberra anyway?

One example – many years ago the Canberra Raiders cheer leaders (Raiderettes) were unpaid. I’m talking back in the mid-90s when it was just a bunch of kids. Their payment was free coaching and the “fun” of attending games and hearing disgustingly inappropriate comments from old men…

thatsnotme 4:06 pm 01 May 14

‘Exposure’ doesn’t put food on the table. That’s fine if it’s a hobby, or part time job, but if you’re a professional artist, in whatever field, then you need an income more than exposure. I really question the value of that exposure too – it’d be interesting to see whether anyone’s actually earned any money from the exposure they got.

When ‘exposure’ starts to be the type of payment that more and more people are willing to accept, then the people who can’t afford to give away real money stop getting jobs. So anyone thinking that being paid that way is going to give them a leg up so that they CAN get paid real money is screwing themselves over – by the time they ‘make it’, there are no paying jobs left.

At best I think this type of deal is greedy. At worst, it’s pure exploitation.

shirty_bear 3:19 pm 01 May 14

For mine, the only concern is that people know the deal before signing on; if you want to be paid in ‘exposure’, then fill your boots; if you don’t, simple – don’t.

But – a hundred dancers? How big is the local market for professional dancers, for chrissakes? Most of the takers must just be along for sh*ts and giggles anyway. Don’t like the pay? Get a real job.
(yeah, I know proper dancing is hard work … what I’m saying is that the market isn’t there. I’d like to be a professional … I dunno … pinball player. Pogo-stick driver. Space-hopper mechanic. Where’s the market?)

FourFour 3:07 pm 01 May 14

Yeah I was surprised when these recently discussed incidents have been clearly events that are money-making ventures …not some charity/community event.

I’ve heard on 3 types today alone (Modelling / Writing / Dancing).

So is it a case that until people say ‘no’, then this may still occur?

countach 3:04 pm 01 May 14

“is this appropriate?”


Glad I could clear that up for you.

pezza 1:35 pm 01 May 14

It’s common, and getting more common across artistic professions. I’ve heard about it with photographers a lot – the Australian Open did the same thing.

As to whether it’s appropriate, well, that’s a slightly more philosophical question. Personally I believe that it’s an utter crock to claim “exposure” as an alternative to pay – if you’re plainly asking for volunteers, whether the event is for profit or not, then that’s one thing. The problem with giving people “exposure” is that nobody has any intention of paying them – you just give other people “exposure” next time, instead.

Felix the Cat 1:33 pm 01 May 14

Maybe…maybe not. Wouldn’t the dancers been aware of the (lack of) pay before the performance? If so, they agreed to do it andthen decided to have a whinge about it after the event. Kylie reportedly said she didn’t recieve any payment for performing either, but I guess she can afford to do the odd freebie.

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