Justin Samuels, the guy who filed a lawsuit against CAA and WME for not representing him, just wrote in:

Mr. August, you’ve no idea what other things I have or haven’t done to break into the industry. You’ve no proof that I haven’t previously lived in Los Angeles. You don’t know if I’ve had internships or not, or if I’ve done other industry jobs or not. You’re making assumptions without having evidence to back them up.

That’s not an excerpt. That’s the whole thing.

True: I have no proof that he hasn’t done those things. I also can’t prove Amelia Earhart never French-kissed a squirrel. But I trust my hunches.

If Justin is writing in to set the record straight, couldn’t he, you know, set the record straight? For instance, he could say when he lived in Los Angeles. Or had an industry job. Or won screenwriting competitions. Or applied for studio-backed diversity programs.

He’s given me no reason to assume he’s done anything other than write scripts, query letters and lawsuits. Maybe he’ll read this and fill in the details.

Justin followed up his first comment with another one specifically about internships:

I should say something about internships. Internships are often unpaid, meaning the intern is working for free. Exploitation at its finest. Its okay if the intern has parents who are willing to subsidize or is on a government program, otherwise the intern may end up sleeping in a cardboard box (the intern maybe unpaid, but rent, food, gas, and other necessities are never free).

So basically, one need not apply for an internship if one doesn’t have either parents or the government to cover one’s expenses.

Here Samuels has a point. Unpaid internships favor those with enough money that they don’t need to get paid. It’s a concern I’ve seen raised in many industries, particularly ones like art and publishing that are centered in high-cost cities like New York.

But I’d argue that unpaid internships are actually a very small part of the Hollywood ecosystem. All the interns in Los Angeles could get Raptured tomorrow and the town would function just fine. A much more fundamental part of the film and television workplace is the front line of PAs and assistants who toil long hours for a wage that, while meager, is livable.

Justin, if you’re sticking around, the 80+ commenters on the original thread probably have questions for you.