Background Checks for the Oscars

Posted Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 by Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

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Background Checks at the Oscars

I’ll admit it. I love watching awards shows, especially entertainment award shows such as the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and the Tony Awards. The grandest of all the award shows, the 90th Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars, will be broadcast globally to hundreds of millions of viewers on Sunday, March 4th. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what movies are honored, the thank-you speeches, the performances and of course, the fashion. This year’s top nominees are “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.

The Oscars are a highly secure event. For the 2017 awards ceremony, the Los Angeles Police Department had over 500 officers covering a “three-tiered security perimeter” around the previous home of the awards, the Dolby theater. The 3,300 guests who attended the event had to pass through the perimeter before walking the red carpet. For 2018, the award ceremony is moving to its new home, the Kodak Theatre. Because of the change in venues, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is implementing stricter procedures for fans who watch the celebrity arrivals and the red carpet. For years, fans have been able to camp out to have a “first-come, first-served” access to sit in the outside bleachers during the arrivals portion of the event. For this year, organizers are requiring fans to complete an application form, including their name, passport number, social security number and agree to a background check. If the fan passes the requirements, they will be given a photo identification badge which allows them access to the bleachers.

Background Screening for the Oscars

The Oscars have many events that take place before, during and after the ceremonies including the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Governor’s Ball and Vanity Fair Oscars Party. Just like any business, the organizers of the annual Academy awards must hire the right staff (both paid and volunteer) for these events. Hiring thousands of people over a short amount of time requires skill and precision, just like the a who actors and creative people who are nominated for the awards. The Academy Awards producers had to coordinate with recruiting, staffing and security agencies to hire the best paid and volunteer staff. These agencies had to accurately review hundreds, if not thousands of prospective workers in a short amount of time. They also must be current on the ever-changing rules and regulations governing event staffing. Knowing these rules and being able to handle the extreme pressure of hiring the right people is vital to having the Oscars be successful for attendees and those of us watching from home. It is very important to know the distinction between the regulations as you prepare for the events.

Event planners for large events like the Olympics, trade shows, conferences and the Oscars will have to coordinate with staffing agencies to find employees or volunteers for the event. Performing background screening checks helps to protect staffing companies from possible bad hires, which can cause undesirable situations at an employer. If a staffing agency fails to do due diligence in their hiring processes and puts a worker who is unfit for employment or causes a threat to the employer, then the staffing agency may be liable for breach of contract claims. Therefore, staffing companies must develop a comprehensive background screening policy that explicitly states the types of screening that will be performed for the positions they are hiring for.

Background Checks for Large Special Events

Background checks are important because it protects a company’s property, assets, reputation, brand and ultimately its biggest asset, the people.  Screening is vital for staffing of large public events such as the Academy Awards to keep the nominees, entertainment industry executives and staff, spectators, volunteers and workers safe. Event planners need to have the peace of mind that the background screening can be done quickly and correctly. It is critical to have a background check policy in place.  The most common background check is the criminal records check. Criminal record checks are a vital step in making intelligent and informed hiring decisions. The key to minimizing the legal risk associated with criminal record checks is to have a well-thought-out hiring policy in place that accounts for applicable legislation, guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEO, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the overall candidate experience.

Having the best staff is crucial to events ranging from corporate meetings to special annual events such as the Academy Awards. It is crucial for organizations to have a background screening policy in place for these types of events. Find out more about developing a background screening policy for your company by downloading our Background Screening Policy Considerations Checklist.

Download the Background Screening Policy Considerations Checklist

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.