The Weinstein Company Is Auctioning Off an Unpaid Internship for $50,000

Business Insider
Analyzing the top news stories across the web
Aug. 14 2014 12:49 PM

The Weinstein Company Is Auctioning Off an Unpaid Internship for $50,000

Harvey Weinstein.
Just a cool 50K for the privilege to work for him. What a steal!

Photo by Jean Christophe Magnenet/AFP/Getty Images

This story originally appeared in Business Insider.

Charitybuzz is currently auctioning off a three-month internship at the Weinstein Company, a production and distribution company launched in 2005 by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

Advertisement

Responsible for Oscar-winning films like The King’s Speech and The Artist, TWC clearly thinks it’s an honor to work at the company.

In fact, the Weinsteins think an internship at their company is worth an “estimated value” of $50,000. That estimated value is not the starting salary for the position, but what they expect the future intern to pay for such a golden opportunity.

The bidding is currently at $25,000. 

140814_BI_CBWeinstein

Screenshot of Charitybuzz.com

Hollywood internships are certainly hard to come by, but this opportunity is not meant to help the average, Ramen-eating college student.

This cash-grab is aimed solely at those with deep pockets who prefer to fast-track their way up the Hollywood food chain rather than actually earn it. The proceeds support the American Repertory Theater, but that doesn’t change the fact that this bizarre stunt favors silver spoons over quality workmanship. 

A current TWC assistant, which is the position ideally next in line for an intern, told the Daily Dot that the starting salary at the company was only $31,000—making the “estimated value” appear even more trivial.

According to a 2013 study conducted by the National Association of College and Employers, only 37 percent of unpaid interns actually wind up working for their employer, and these numbers are certainly lower within the bizarro world of Hollywood. Compare that with the 35.2 percent who receive job offers without any internship whatsoever and it’s near impossible to defend the unpaid internship infrastructure.

The now infamous Black Swan lawsuit was originally thought to be game-changer for the industry, but nothing has changed.

Most production companies are still using this system, and the real victims are the overworked and (severely) underpaid interns themselves. For those with the “thick skin” required for the job, bidding is still live for a few more hours.

Brett Arnold is contributor to Business Insider and a freelancer for the story department at United Talent Agency.

  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Dec. 19 2014 4:15 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? Staff writer Lily Hay Newman shares what stories intrigued her at the magazine this week.