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"I don't suppose I'm the only one who's had to fuck her way to the top."
Jerilee Randall (accepting "the Award"note ), The Lonely Lady

The time-dishonored method for young aspiring entertainers to advance their careers: by sleeping with the producer. Although the term itself stems from the movie industry, it also happens in different types of showbusiness: music, modeling, theater, etc.

Subtrope to both Sleeping Their Way to the Top and Sexual Extortion, with specific examples leaning more towards one or the other. See also Model Scam, when it's used as a scam, and there is no job available; Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend, when a person gets better "roles" (or other benefits) in a roleplaying game due to a special relationship with the DM; and Sleazy Photoshoot, which is an actual shoot but has the model being put in similarly compromising situations.

To avoid controversy, Real Life examples should not be discussed. Examples should stick to this trope as treated in fictional shows about show business.


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  • Boxballet: The ballerina's gross scumbag of a producer offers her a part as the lead in Giselle, but only if she has sex with him. She considers it, then indignantly refuses.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Destiny of the Shrine Maiden, Corona, the Fourth Neck from the Orochi group either did this or was sexually abused in her Dark and Troubled Past. In any way, she's badly damaged by such experiences. Though after the world is re-created, she's seen performing happily and it seems she won't go through such crap.
  • In Love Celeb, lead female Kirara Nakazono is sent by her cruel manager Hanamaki to what seems to be a series of exhausting auditions in a hotel... but it turns out that the girls attending are supposed to invoke the trope. The poor girl naturally panics and tries to escape, but she gets caught and almost raped by a producer — and then she's saved by the future lead male and local Fetishized Abuser, Ginzou "Gin" Fujiwara.
  • In the first episode of Megazone 23, Yui is willing to go to a Love Hotel with a director who's "thinking of making her the lead" in his next production.
  • Oshi no Ko treats actresses and producers doing so as an open secret in the industry. The one time this trope becomes truly relevant is when Kana Arima, already feeling insecure about her not pursuing her chosen field of acting after becoming an idol and her increasing irrelevance in B-Komachi once Ruby begins turning heads, decides to go to a night club well known for aspiring starlets hoping to sleep with higher ups for roles. She does end up in a compromising situation with a producer, and even prepares herself to have sex with him, but she backs out at the last second because she's still in love with Ruby's brother Aquamarine. In a surprising variation on the trope, the producer she almost sleeps with is an otherwise friendly guy, immediately backs down when Kana is visibly distressed, and genuinely thinks she has promise as an actress. He even gives her some acting roles after the fact.
  • In one of Ringo's imagine spots in Penguindrum, she speculates that the Takarazuka actress Yuri Tokikago pulled this to get her most famous roles. The scene is Played for Laughs, and it's never revealed whether Yuri actually did it or not. She did sleep with one of her co-stars, Tsubasa, but it doesn't seem to be related to the trope.
  • In Tokyo Babylon, Subaru encounters the ghost of an aspiring actress who had resorted to this to land a minor role in a film. While the producer did give her the part, the film ended up getting canceled because the lead actress had a breakdown and walked off the set. The woman threw herself off a building in despair shortly afterward.

    Comic Books 
  • In Avengers Academy, Striker's mom pimped him out to a sleazy manager with a worrying fondness for young boys. His powers first manifested when the manager tried to sexually assault him in exchange for more work.
  • Starlight in The Boys is told she has to give The Homelander, A-Train, and Black Noir oral sex or she won't be allowed in as part of The Seven.
  • In the The Fade Out, something that is constantly referenced as part of the life of a starlet in Hollywood. Women are expected to sleep with stars, executives, directors, and producers to get ahead. Maya actually shaves herself because she knows it will repulse the head of the studio when he comes to sleep with her.
  • In Finder, the only way to progress in Anvard's society if you aren't a member of a Clan is to find a sponsor who is, and it's explicitly stated that this usually involves being sexually available to them among other things.
  • In The Loners, a scummy director tries to force himself on Julie while she's auditioning for his movie. As Julie is a former superhero with actual superpowers, he gets his ass kicked instead.
    "Not exactly the kind of thrust you were expecting, I bet."
  • Woden in The Wicked + The Divine only allows Asian women who are taller than him to become his Valkyries, because they're the ones he's attracted to. According to an ex-Valkyrie, he sleeps with them whenever he can get it up, and according to his own narration, he also gets them to act out his private fantasies.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): The corrupt Gotham newscaster Nedra thinks her boss is implying she needs to sleep with him in order to keep her job when he says she's "sacked". When she retorts about the supposed suggestion, it just pisses him off more as he tells her she is fired.

    Films — Animated 
  • A since-removed blooper at the end of Toy Story 2 consists of Stinky Pete conversing with two Barbie dolls and saying he could get them a role in Toy Story 3.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • An uncomfortably present theme throughout All About Eve. The heroine's major worry throughout is that Eve is going to steal her husband or her best friend's husband to help her own career. This trope is played for laughs in another scene, where an up-and-coming starlet (played, appropriately enough, by an up-and-coming Marilyn Monroe) is repeatedly flirty with a pudgy director twice her age at a party.
  • Angela in American Beauty regularly boasts of doing this in the model industry, but it turns out later that she was making it up.
  • "Audition" videos are their own subgenre of pornography, and multiple sites that specialize in them use the trope name in their titles. Justified since sex is part of the job description.
  • In Bad Education (2004), Ángel approaches his friend Enrique to direct a script that he wrote. Enrique's unconvinced that Ángel would be a good fit for the role and relents only when Ángel agrees to sleep with him.
  • A deleted scene from Big Fat Liar shows Marty Wolf being interrupted by work just as he's trying to get the ball rolling.
  • The director in Black Swan sexually harasses Natalie Portman's character. It's ambiguous throughout the movie whether he's actually trying to extort sex from her in exchange for the lead role in Swan Lake, or if he's just trying to loosen her up for the role.
  • In Bowfinger, Daisy (Heather Graham) is a textbook example, exaggerated and Played for Laughs. Her audition for the movie-within-a-movie Chubby Rain is an onscreen kiss that she plays as far more erotic than romantic, causing her male co-star to argue for her inclusion in the project. When he is unable to get her more screen time, she begins dating head writer Afrim, only for him to mention that it's really the director (Bobby Bowfinger, played by Steve Martin) who makes these decisions. She unceremoniously dumps Afrim and sleeps with Bowfinger. She ends up with someone labelled as "one of Hollywood's most powerful lesbians", lampshading a current item of gossip.
  • In Bunty aur Babli, Vimmi wants to enter the Miss India pageant, but when she refuses to comply with this trope, she is dropped from the contestant roster.
  • In The Callback Queen, the character of the agent recommends that the actress get it done this way. "It might be time to change your approach; you know, sex."
  • Duck Butter: Nima and Sergio both relate that they slept with men to advance their artistic careers.
  • Discussed in Eat, where Novella has to contend with younger auditionees like Traci who will do "anything" to get a role. Given that Traci is mentioned to be a pathological liar later in the movie, this may or may not be true.
  • In Frankenstein 1970, the director Douglas Row is attempting to apply this trope to The Ingenue Caroline, but she rebuffs his advances.
  • A movie about the making of Gone with the Wind has the producer arrested for violating the Mann Act for getting women to sleep with him for a part in the movie. It is quickly discovered they have the wrong man; some other guy was seducing women by pretending he was the film's producer and offering them parts in the movie.
  • By the end of Hail, Caesar! it turns out that Baird Whitlock's little secret is that he got to know director Laurence Laurentz in the biblical sense, and this has nothing to do with his role in the homonymous film-within-the-film, a fact that the Future members use to make sure that he won't give their names to the press after they release him, one that reporter Thacker would kill for and the one Eddie Mannix tries to cover up along with all the other sleaze that actually makes up Capitol Pictures.
  • Defied in the 1950s version of Imitation of Life. The main character insists on becoming a famous actress the hard way and achieves it. She doesn't become a movie star like she wanted, though.
  • Thrown right out into the open for all the world to see in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Chris Rock plays a director who regularly abuses his crew, complains that he doesn't see enough black people working on his film because whites took all the jobs, and ends with this gem when he puts someone back in their place: "I got more white women waiting for me in my trailer than there were in the first lifeboat off the Titanic. And they all want a part in my movie. And I got a part for them, too."
  • In L.A. Confidential, young actor Matt Reynolds is busted by Jack Vincennes and Sid Hudgens for marijuana possession. To wipe the pot bust off his record and maybe score a role in a crime procedural, he agrees to seduce a homosexual D.A. and get caught with him in flagrante by Hudgens. Unfortunately, he ends up on a motel carpet with a sliced throat, halfway through the movie.
  • The whole premise of The Lonely Lady. Apparently everyone in Hollywood wants to get into the pants of aspiring screenwriters, or at least aspiring screenwriters who look like Pia Zadora.
  • A Night at the Opera has the amoral tenor Lassparri attempt to invoke this by casting Rosa as his co-star until he finds out that she is in a relationship with his rival Ricardo. At this point, he decides a last-minute replacement, essentially ruining her career. Time for the Karmic Tricksters to take off the kid gloves...
  • The South Korean film Norigae is about this, somewhat influenced by the suicide of actress Jang Ja-yeon (Boys Before Flowers), as it was believed that this contributed to her depression.
  • In The Party, Peter Sellers' character stops a director (played by Gavin McLeod!) from forcing himself sexually on an aspiring actress. The humiliated director swears that she's through in the business before she'd started.
  • Phantom of the Paradise has the casting for singers being some king of orgy, with the "finalists" being handed to Swan, the producer of the musical, who sleeps with them again.
  • The Prowler (1951): Strongly implied when Susan tells Webb that she discovered who she really was when she was trying to break into show business, and that she wound despising that person.
  • In Return to Cabin by the Lake, the Film Within a Film Cabin by the Lake's director Mike Helton sleeps with both of the female leads by promising them a future career in his movies.
  • Scream 3:
    • A character (played by Carrie Fisher) says she was going to play Princess Leia, but lost the role to "the one who sleeps with George Lucas." (Doubles as Self-Deprecation, because Fisher, a noted script doctor, rewrote her own dialogue.) Fisher continued with this joke in the AFI tribute to Lucas, concluding her speech/roast to him with the statement "I hope I slept with you to get that job, because if not, who the hell was that guy?!"
    • It is also revealed that Angelina got cast in Stab 3 because she screwed the producer. Seeing as how this is a Slasher Movie that revels in meta parody of slasher movie tropes, Sex Signals Death kicks in almost immediately after this revelation.
    • It is eventually revealed that most of the events of the series happened because Sidney's mother Maureen was traumatized by the events at a Hollywood party where aspiring actresses could meet producers willing to trade roles for sex. She quit Hollywood in disgust and buried her time as an actress, but not before giving birth to a son named Roman Bridger, who turns out to be the Greater-Scope Villain of the entire series up to that point.
  • In Seed of Chucky, Jennifer Tilly (the character played by herself) seduces a director for the part of the Virgin Mary.
  • Inverted in Souls for Sale. An aspiring actress is quite overt in her approaches to the casting director, but the casting director, who has beautiful women trying to get parts from him all the time, isn't impressed.
  • Averted in Stage Door; Anthony Powell tries to pull this on Terry Randall (though she has the part already), but she's smart enough to see through it.
  • Team America: World Police makes a joke out of it (Spotswoode orders Gary to give him oral in order to join the team, then says he's just joking), then plays it straight (the next time Spotswoode asks for it, he means it).

  • Play on the traditionally lowly role of the writer in Film/Theater: Did you hear about the chorus girl who was so dumb she slept with the writer?
  • The plaintive cry "Who do I have to fuck to get out of this movie?"
  • There is a joke about a girl who complains in the morning "Why didn't you tell me you're a cartoon producer?"
  • Alternatively, an artist on an animated feature had to draw porn of the film's protagonist having sex with the producer in order to get it greenlit.

  • Agent to the Stars: Tom started out having some hopes in this direction, both towards Tea and Michelle, but Michelle turned out to be far too cunning to fall for the spiel, and Tea's bitchiness and Prima Donna-antics killed any appeal she may have had.
    • This may be the case with Roland Lanois, who is mentioned to have gone through his leading ladies like a fat kid through cake, but the implication seems to be that his success with the ladies stems from his status as the only heterosexual male in Hollywood who isn't also a complete goblin.
  • In Baccano! 1930 - The Rolling Bootlegs, Detective Edward Noah accuses Firo of this when he learns the boy is getting promoted to an executive position in the Camorra.
    Edward: It’s because you've got a girly face, right... Just how many executives did you sleep with to rise so high?
  • In the backstory to Creature Court, the stagemaster of the Mermaid theatre troupe expects to sleep with any actress looking to take or keep a role, especially any girl who wants to move out of the lambs' chorus - which in this case means actresses of twelve or thirteen. His attempt to do this to a young Livilla triggered her coming into her powers as a courtesa. It's mentioned that the stellar (lead performer) of the troupe is also sleeping with him regularly to keep her part.
    • Poet, stagemaster and stellar of the Vittorina Royale, mentions sleeping with his actors occasionally, though he adds that he only beds those that approach him.
  • In Date A Live, Miku's backstory has her refuse to sleep with a producer, who consequently ruined her career as an Idol Singer by spreading false rumors.
  • There's a tearjerker example in The Godfather when the mother of a twelve-year-old actress hands her daughter over to producer Jack Woltz (a thinly disguised Jack Warner). Insiders say it's based on a true story.
    • The movie tones this down, except in deleted scenes, but Woltz complains about another actress. He mentions her talent, how much money he spent on her, and how he was going to make her a big star, but he seems angrier that he won't have another chance to sleep with her, because Johnny Fontane, an actor who is the godson of Vito Corleone, got with her first. This is why Woltz isn't going to give Fontane a role that will revive Fontane's career. The response the Corleones do to force his hand is to decapitate his prize stud Khartoum and place the severed head in Woltz's bed.
  • In The Master and Margarita, the Devil and his retinue visit Moscow and dole out karmic trickery to the greedy and dishonest. One of their victims is a senior bureaucrat in Moscow's theatre scene who has been carrying on an affair with an actress in return for getting her better parts. At the moment this is revealed, he is accompanied by a young woman he has introduced as a cousin from out of town, but her reaction to the revelation implies that she's another actress he's being carrying on with the same way at the same time.
  • Jill Castle in the Sidney Sheldon novel A Stranger In The Mirror is determined to succeed in Hollywood without doing this, but ultimately has to resort to it. Even crueler, despite this, she never becomes a big star. Honey Taft in the novel Nothing Lasts Forever does this to get through college and medical school and to stay in residency even as her superiors realize she's nowhere near as qualified for her position as her grades would indicate (she's not stupid, she just has no affinity for medicine and attended school under orders from her father).
  • In the book of The Princess Bride, the author gets this approach from an aspiring actress, and is eager to say yes, but he gets involved in an attempt to find a copy of the book for his son, and the actress eventually storms out.
  • Sacred Monster: Jack slept with a male producer to get a role in a play after he was blackballed when his previous (female) patron died while having sex with him.
  • Small Game: Ashley admits that she had sex with Lenny to claim a spot on the TV show. She is vague about how much she consented to their encounters.
  • Three at Wolfe's Door: Pyle is a theatrical producer who isn't shy about making hopeful actresses come back to his apartment. Helen Iacono (who once stabbed him in the arm for trying to rape her) says that it's rumored that he only backs shows in the first place as an excuse to come into contact with desperate actresses. The killer was one of the dancers he used it on.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the 2 Broke Girls second-season episode "And the Extra Work", both Caroline and Max reject the director's advances and are subsequently shunted off to a peripheral role in the scene shot in the diner, rather than the murder victim.
  • 30 Rock:
    • Subverted when Jenna sleeps with the man she thinks is Jack's boss to avoid being the actor who's about to be fired from the show. Except that the man was an actor playing Jack's boss in the upcoming sketch that she mistook for the real thing. Also, the rumor about them firing an actor was completely made up.
    • Subverted when Liz, figuring this is just the way things work in show business, grits her teeth and sleeps with an executive in order to spare the show from budget cuts, which then happen anyway. She angrily confronts him ("You got your quid, where's my quo?") and he's appalled to learn it wasn't real, asking what kind of person would engage in such a transaction and tearfully apologizing to his dead wife for the disrespect to her memory. Liz ends up getting suspended for sexual harassment and forced to go through a sensitivity training program.
    • At one point, Jenna off-handedly mentions that she turned down sex with Harvey Weinstein "on no less than three occasions...out of five." It should be noted that the episode in question came out in 2012.
  • In one episode of Agent Carter, Dottie Underwood applies for a secretarial position under a dentist who was rather obviously trying to maneuver her into attempting this trope. Unfortunately for him, Dottie is one of the first Black Widows, and she eventually decides that she's had enough sexual harassment and straps him into one of his own chairs prior to driving his drill through his eye.
  • Barry: Sally is propositioned by her agent, whom she awkwardly turns down. He plays it off as a joke. The next day, he drops her.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210: Angry when she isn't given the part, Brenda's rival for the lead in the school play starts a rumor that she made use of this. It doesn't help that the director has been plagued by similar rumors in the past.
  • In The Big Bang Theory an older woman who is one of the university's donors makes a pass at Leonard with the implication that her donations are contingent on him sleeping with her. She later clarifies that she's planning to make a donation no matter what and made a pass a Leonard because she finds him attractive and figured she might as well take a shot. Naturally, Sheldon loves the idea of pimping Leonard out to older women in exchange for new lab equipment.
  • The Boys (2019): The Deep propositions Starlight for oral sex when she first joins The Seven implying it's a right of passage, while her hostile refusal gives him leverage claiming he has the power to get her removed if she doesn't comply. She is rendered physically ill afterward. This actually serves as an Establishing Series Moment that really exposes the depravity of superheroes in the setting, as Starlight was the Naïve Newcomer thinking The Seven were genuine heroic figures rather than spoiled celebrities with major vices. She later reveals what happened to her without naming names, but The Deep is quietly Reassigned to Antarctica (having greatly overstated the influence he has).
  • Castle:
    • An actress begins a relationship with Castle and Beckett accuses her of only sleeping with him to get cast in the film adaptation of the Nikki Heat books. Castle brings up the possibility to her which sends the actress running away crying. It later turns out that Beckett was right, as one of their suspects, the head of TV network, had an alibi of sleeping with the same actress the night of the victim's murder because she wanted a role on one of his sitcoms. The actress later seems a bit remorseful that she had to lie to Castle about her intentions; however, Castle is impressed that she fooled him and recommends her for the role anyway.
    • Also, similarly, in a case with models, it's revealed that a particular photographer will only take bad shots unless the model agrees to sleep with him. One model comments that she enjoyed it. The victim, however, was married and tried to record the photographer coming on to her so she could put a stop to it. Her husband mistakenly thought she was having an affair and killed her for it, but Castle and Beckett blow the whistle on the photographer to the talent agency, whose head gets him blacklisted from the industry.
  • This trope is discussed in an episode of Chuck. Lester and Jeff are put in charge of hiring a new Green Shirt. They decide to hire the "Buy More Babe," and try to invoke this response in the models they interview. They fail miserably.
  • Doom Patrol (2019): A sleazy director tries to get Rita to have sex with him in 1956 in exchange for a part in a movie. Instead, she turns into a Blob Monster and smothers him to death.
  • Mia Jones in Degrassi wanted to be a model and she thought it would help to have sex with the star of the product. It turns out that he doesn't choose the model at all and that she was already a shoe-in for the spot, so she completely regretted what she did.
  • Lampshaded on Empire. When Hakeem decides to found a new Girl Group on Cookie's label, Andre snarkily refers to the audition session as Hakeem's "personal speed-dating service". The fact that he ends up sleeping with his first lead singer until her Face–Heel Turn then romantically pursues the girl he signed to replace her doesn't help his case any.
  • In Entourage, the guys often try this, but they never really score, probably because it would be too unsavory.
    • In one particular episode, a well-heeled investor wants Vince to sleep with his (the investor's) wife, before he'll front the money needed to make Vince's pet project. Apparently, she's a big fan. Vince ultimately refuses and the guys finance the movie themselves.
  • Father Brown: The Victim of the Week in "The Mask of the Demon" is a film director famous for his use of the casting couch. He films his assignations for his own entertainment and blackmail purposes.
  • Flesh and Bone: The other dancers assume Claire has made use of this, given her rapid ascent in the company and director Paul's interest in her. In another episode, Paul not-so-subtly implies that he wants her to sleep with the company's benefactor in order to keep funds for the company coming in (when the night goes badly, the man withdraws his funding, and Paul is enraged). And in yet another episode, Paul embarrasses his boyfriend Trey by revealing their relationship, then insisting that it is not the reason Trey has been given a prominent role in an upcoming performance.
  • Friends: Joey is led to believe that he will not get a part on Days of Our Lives if he does not sleep with the producer. He decides not to sleep with her because he does not wish to get the part that way. However, when he stands up to her he is offered a better part (and ends up sleeping with her anyway). Given Joey's immediate reaction after telling his friends (that he needs to go take a shower), it seems more likely that rather than offer him a part because he stood up to her, she instead upped her offer and he accepted it.
  • In an early episode of Glee, Sandy refers to a couch in his living room as such.
  • GLOW (2017) Ruth gets invited to a meeting with the head of KDTV, and soon starts making moves on her, asking her to demonstrate wrestling moves on him. As he steps outside to turn on the Jaccuzi, Ruth slips out. The show is cancelled soon after. Ruth confides to Debbie and Sam about it, and while Debbie gets mad at her since that's just how things work in the show business in her experience, Sam instead opts to go and smask the boss' windshield with a tire iron.
  • Subverted in The Golden Girls: Blanche gets the lead role in the local play for five years straight because she slept with the director. However, much to her displeasure, she ends up with a measly ensemble bit after the troupe hires a new director, who happens to be gay. She cluelessly remarks on how ridiculous the idea of a gay theater director is.
  • Referenced in Have I Got News for You, when a clip was shown of Ian's brief appearance in a Greek TV drama. He explained that his wife had been the writer, at which point Paul quipped "Who'd you sleep with to get that job?"
  • There is an episode of some softcore series (maybe Hot Line) where a girl sleeps with a guy on set, and then discovers he's actually just an actor, and cannot make the decision to give her a role. She leaves a bit upset. Later, her mom comes over; no Casting Couch intentions, she's merely a big fan of the actor.
  • How I Met Your Mother: One episode reveals that Barney has hired actors to pretend to be his family to make his mother happy. A flashback showing the auditions, has a woman claiming Barney told her if she slept with him, her son would get the part of Barney's son. Barney then snarks that he must be a better actor than her son.
  • Mac did this shamelessly in the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest". He even modeled the audition process (to be the model on their billboard) after the bachelor. Of the three girls, two of them "banged" him and more importantly "banged each other" and let him watch. The third taught him about love and respect. He decided to hire the first two and when the third objected he pointed out that "this whole thing's about banging."
  • Jessica Jones (2015): During her days as a child star, Trish Walker was often pimped out by her mother to producers for roles in movies. In season 2, she has to go to one of them, Max Tatum, and blackmails him to get hospital records pertaining to her IGH investigation.
    Trish Walker: I'm not asking. You're gonna give me what I want.
    Max Tatum: Or what?
    Trish Walker: Or I'll go public with what happened between us. (beat). I was a child. You were 40.
    Max Tatum: You were...16, going on-
    Trish Walker: 15, and my mother pimped me out for the lead in your crappy movie!
    Max Tatum: I—I cast you because you wanted it more than anyone I had ever met!
    Trish Walker: And you knew I'd do anything...
    Max Tatum: I was the one who was used!
    Trish Walker: I didn't come here for a twisted walk down memory lane!
    Max Tatum: No you came here to blackmail me! You know what you are? You're a B-list radio personality who has to resort to dirty threats to stay relevant.
    Trish Walker: Says the dirty old man hiring desperate young girls to pretend they care.
    Max Tatum: Y'know what, get off my set before I call security. (goes to his door)
    Trish Walker: You've got 48 hours to give me what I want!
    Max Tatum: (opens the door) Won't make any difference. You'll still be exactly what you always feared you'd be: utterly goddamn ordinary.
  • Joey: Joey's agent Bobbi has a rule against this. When Gina gets a job working for her, she breaks this rule and uses her position to sleep with a client. This results in the client leaving and Gina getting in hot water.
  • In one episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, this turns out to be one element in the complex web surrounding the murder of a journalist. A director had pulled this on the journalist's teenage sister, so the journalist decided to expose him and went digging for additional dirt. In doing so, he inadvertently came close to discovering an unrelated secret about the film the director was working on, so the subject of said secret killed him to make sure he wouldn't.
  • The plot of a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode dealt with this. The original case was a washed-up former teen actress who was caught having sex with a 15-year old boy. Upon questioning her, they learn that she picked up her sexual habits from her former producer, who engaged in getting teenage actresses to sleep with him and his friends, claiming it was part of the business.
    • In another episode, a producer is caught drugging and raping girls who come in to meet with him. It eventually comes out that he'd also molested his own daughter for years until her mother found out and took the daughter away.
  • Seen occasionally on Mad Men when the agency's casting commercials — when it's a double-sided aluminum ad, Roger takes it upon himself to pick out the set of twins he likes best for himself and Don. It's also implied that Harry, head of the television department, uses his connections to broker dates with actresses (or tries to). And Megan worries that it will mean career trouble when she and Don decline to swing with her show's head writer and his wife.
  • In Married... with Children, recurring TV presenter Miranda Veracruz de la Jolla Cardinal once mentioned in camera (after covering a disappointing news under heavy snow) that she should slept with the owner of a better TV network.
  • Discussed in the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater", where Sharona's sister Gail is accused of murdering a fellow star, Hal Duncan, on stage while Monk and Sharona are attending the play. Monk finds himself taking Hal's place when reenacting the scene. At one point, he overhears the director tell Gail's understudy Jenna Ryan, "It was your idea to hire Hal, and he was terrible!" In the next scene, this conversation:
    Adrian Monk: Kathleen, what did the director mean when he said that... Jenna made them hire Hal Duncan?
    Kathleen: It was no secret. Jenna wanted them to hire Hal. I'll tell you what I heard. She slept with the producer then threatened to tell his wife unless they did.
    Sharona Fleming: Why? Were they dating?
    Kathleen: No. Nobody could figure it out.
  • A Monty Python sketch has a rural gent (John Cleese) whose "rustic monologue" is cut short complain: "I'm not sleeping with that producer again."
  • A Mr. Show sketch: A valedictorian of his law school has a law firm interview, only for his three potential employers, in the middle of talking about his potential career tell him they want him to give them a blowjob, much to his horror. When he tries to reject their offer, they reveal that society is built on blowjobs, from law to medicine to religion to even prostitution.
  • The Nanny: Fran gets a lead role in a Broadway musical directed by a prestigious director just because he's inflatuated with her. Two secundary actors exchange this dialogue:
    Female actor: How did she got the lead while I only had this meaningless role?
    Male actor: She's obviously sleeping with him
    Female actor: I'm sleeping with him!
  • Only Murders in the Building: Discussed in the season 3 episode "Sitzprobe" and implied to be how Dickie was conceived. Loretta describes in a flashback how when she was in high school, a visiting theater director from New York praised her acting skills, while the camera shows him leering at her at a rehearsal. The next scene shows her at the OB/GYN's office.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch in 1995 was modeled as a TV show called The Casting Couch, hosted by a caricatured portrayal of Robert Evans who would invite young women who want to make it big as an actress to his house for an "interview."
  • The Shield: Tina goes undercover with another officer in order to bust a sleazy porn producer, posing as new talent. He demands a blowjob, claiming it is for her audition, but she manages to stall him until he implicates himself in previous crimes.
  • In Slings & Arrows, Claire accuses Kate (an apprentice in the acting company) of trying to seduce Jack (the guest star) to help her career. Actually, Kate is genuinely in love with Jack, but the accusation makes her question her motives enough that it leads to a Second-Act Breakup.
  • In Smash, this is how Derek normally operates. He hints Karen should sleep with him so she gets the part of Marilyn Monroe in the musical, but she rejects him. It's implied that Derek gave Ivy the role because she slept with and later has a relationship with him. In season 2 this trope backfires on him when an actress sues him for sexual harassment and multiple other women come forward to accuse him of doing the same to them. He settles the lawsuit but it permanently damages his career as a director, since fewer productions will risk giving him any power over casting.
  • Supernatural:
    • In the episode "Hollywood Babylon", the director of the horror movie being filmed calls the lead actress "pumpkin" and flirts with her, which seems to make her uncomfortable.
    • An Establishing Character Moment for Dean involves him handing out a fake business card identifying him as a Hollywood talent scout to a woman he's hoping to seduce.
  • The roommate of one of the protagonists in a Tales from the Crypt episode was known for engaging in this to win beauty pageants, much to the protagonist's annoyance (and detriment). Ultimately she killed her roommate to secure first place in a show promoting the "beauty inside," and thus became "Ms. Autopsy."
  • On Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Titus is offered a role on Sesame Street if he'll sleep with one of the puppets. His reaction is "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that!"
  • The Vicar of Dibley: Inverted and Invoked. This being Dibley, Owen applies for the offered role specifically so he can sleep with Geraldine, who's casting. She naturally turns him down.

  • Heart's song "Private Audition" (from the album of the same name) is about this trope: the singer goes for an audition but it's implied the (presumably) producer guy is really interested in sex.
  • Straight Outta Oz's song "Papi" is about a man being sexually harassed by a woman in the music industry. Not only is he not interested in her, he isn't interested in women period, but he worries whether declining her advances will affect his music career.
  • The subject of Rachel Steven's song "Some Girls."
  • Willie Colon's song "Talento de TV" is about an impossibly hot but otherwise untalented girl who manages to become the best-paid TV star, mostly because of her hotness, but also because she seduced the dramatic production executive to get a role despite her shortcomings.
  • "Fucked My Way Up to the Top" by Lana Del Rey.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • In Margaret Cho's special I'm The One That I Want, she talked about how, during a low point in her career after her sitcom All-American Girl (1994) was cancelled, she was approached by a producer who wanted to offer her a role... if she slept with him. She honestly considered it, but when she met with him, he was so physically repulsive that she noped right out there and fought him off when he got aggressive.

  • In City of Angels, Buddy Fidler casts his wife, Carla Haywood, as Alaura, and cheats on her with the starlet who plays Mallory. As Carla says, "It's hard to replace someone who's sleeping with the director. Of course, in this director's case, that's a cottage industry." The Show Within a Show also has a flashback in which Irwin S. Irving (Buddy's counterpart) is caught trying to make a star out of Bobbi with his pants down.
  • In Evita, this is mostly how Eva works her way up before marrying Juan Peron.
    "Did you hear that? They called me a whore. They actually called me a whore!"
    "But Senora Peron, it's an easy mistake. I'm still called an admiral, yet I gave up the sea long ago."
  • In Fame, it is implied Carmen Diaz is stuck in a nightmarish prolonged casting couch situation, beginning with the classic scene but turning into an abusive relationship.
  • In Follies, retired Broadway producer Dimitri Weismann brags about having used this on his girls.
  • Diana from Lend Me a Tenor will do anything to make it as an opera singer. This combined with a Mistaken Identity and a hurricane of Innocent Innuendos leads to the man she's trying to seduce thinking she's a hooker. (Not that it stops him from sleeping with her.)
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, people are quick to assume Christine's been getting lucky breaks because she's sleeping with Raoul de Chagny, the opera's patron. Naturally, she isn't; the lucky breaks are because the guy who truly runs the theatre, the Phantom, is completely obsessed with her.
  • Referenced in the stage version of The Producers several times:
    • Max Bialystok, who seduces old female investors to get money for his plays, tells Leo that "he wants to see someone on that couch under the age of 85" to justify hiring a sexy Swedish secretary who speaks little English.
    • In his song "The King of Broadway," Max says, "Who do you gotta fuck to get a break in this town?!"
    • Also, in Leo's song "I Wanna Be a Producer", he fantasizes about a group of chorus girls singing:
      He's gonna be a producer with a great big casting couch!

    Video Games 
  • Kotoko Utsugi's mother from Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls was a Stage Mom who prostituted herself, her 10-year-old daughter, or even both of them at the same time to get her daughter roles. It's no surprise that Kotoko ended up killing her and her equally horribly father.
  • Played as a joke in the "Cafe Of Broken Dreams" encounter in Fallout 2, where you meet a few unused PC models, including a black hero and a red-haired heroine. She says the only reason the black-haired heroine got the role is because she slept with every artist on the team. And the programmers. And the project leader. In contrast, she herself "only" slept with Scott Everts a few times to secure his vote.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Heavily implied with Professor Manuela, as she recounts her experience as a classy opera star to her student, Flayn. While she claims that they were the best years of her life, she apparently had to do some very dirty things for the directors that still haunt her in order to get the parts she wanted. Note that this is not outright stated, as Manuela is speaking to a child. Or so it appears.
  • L.A. Noire has a case called The Fallen Idol, where Detective Phelps investigates into the film industry. This trope is brought up more than once and one of its victims is a fifteen-year-old girl. Made even worse at the fact that it was the girl's aunt who set it up. The aunt tricked her niece to come to Hollywood telling her she could be a star then getting her to sleep with a pedophile producer all so she could use the footage to blackmail the producer and make it so he gave her the starring role in his next film. Made even worse at the face she suffers no punishment for this.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 2: Innocent Sin, the party learns that the producer of the Muses idol group has a bad reputation of taking advantage of this with the adolescent girls he manages. Eikichi is less concerned about the producer actually pressuring Lisa Silverman into sleeping with him than that she might violently beat him for getting hands-on.
    • In Persona 5 one of the Mementos requests titled "The Head Honcho in Showbiz" revolves around a sleazy producer threatening girls into sleeping with him and tanking their careers if they refuse.
  • Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town has a G-rated mention of this trope. In one of her events, Blaire, the marriage candidate who is Waiting for a Break, is stopped by several characters as she's about to go meet a producer who said he would speak to the jury of her next audition for her. Blaire's Benevolent Boss from the eatery in which she works, Misaki, is very wary about her meeting the producer one on one and insists upon going with Blaire if she insists upon meeting him. Watching the event with this trope in mind makes it easy to guess that Misaki suspects that Blaire is obliviously walking into such a situation.
  • World of Horror: invoked This casts a heavy shadow of Realism-Induced Horror over one of the potential Player Characters, Teen Idol Mizuki Hamasaki.
    • One of her personal Random Events implies that something happened at the very start of her career that left a scar on the side of her abdomen. If the player so chooses, Mizuki can willfully repress her memories of what caused it.
    • Mizuki can also randomly encounter her manager, a corpulent and hideous man who replaced her previous manager under mysterious circumstances. Should she choose to let him take one of her allies from her in order to protect herself, Mizuki suspects that she'll never get to see whoever he selected again.
  • In Yakuza 5, Haruka, a 16-year-old aspiring Idol Singer, is approached by a sleazy producer named Takami who proposes her a chance to appear on his TV show to boost her popularity... provided that she keep him company for a night in exchange. He tries resorting to force when she refuses, but surprisingly, it's one of Haruka's rivals, Azusa from T-Set, who steps in and saves the day. She later claims Takami tried the same thing on her and several other girls. The sleazebag appears again when Akiyama has to watch over an idol in one of his substories, where he gets what he deserves.
  • Yandere Simulator: Chigusa Busujima's Dark Secret is that a professor tried to get her to sleep with him in exchange for boosting her career, and to get him off her back she pressured another girl into sleeping with him instead. Ryoba could use this information to ruin Chigusa's reputation.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Shining Song Starnova, the idols of Quasar have a rumor stating that any girl who wants to become the group’s new center must sleep with their producer Kamijou as a “final inspection”. Kamijou confirms that the rumor was true at one point, but he’s lost interest in taking advantage of his idols this way by the time Shiro becomes the center, and he simply throws her out of his office after she stripped naked. In two routes, Oda intends to revive the practice if he takes control of the company.

  • Megatokyo:
    Erika: <Did you sleep with the producer?>
    Kimiko: <NO. I did NOT.>
    Erika: <Do you need me to?>
    Kimiko: <NO.>
    Erika: <Well, that's a shame.>
  • Happens in all three comics of the Ménage à 3 universe:
    • Ménage à 3:
      • Dillon and Amber both do this ... and then end up having sex with each other to satisfy a producer's Twincest fantasy (Dillon is in drag). Amber demonstrates her experience in this area by negotiating a better contract before agreeing. "Welcome to the ugly side of show business."
      • Zii's method of auditioning drummers (and possibly singers) for her old band apparently amounted to this.
    • In Sticky Dilly Buns, Dillon and Amber try successfully to avoid a resurgence of the casting couch relationship that they had with produced Nathan in Ménage à 3 (see above). However, new character Ray is naive or obsessed enough to fall for Nathan's approach.
    • Sandra on the Rocks: Well, the comic does center around modeling...and in Paris, at that...
      • Eloise provided the original page image. Her girlfriend Nadine flat-out says this is how Eloise has built her career—and Eloise really can't deny it.
        Eloise: You know I worked my butt off to get where I am.
        Nadine: I know. I am reminded every time I see you walking funny before a shoot.
        Eloise: Sh-shut up!
      • Nadine also remains blissfully ignorant of the fact that Eloise is also blatantly using her the same way. She thinks that Eloise is with her purely out of love, but the fact that she's a Daddy's Girl who can ask her rich and influential father to give Eloise modeling gigs is undoubtedly the main reason Eloise started dating her in the first place. Whether or not Eloise also has genuine feelings for Nadine or whether she's just faking it is unclear. She might even be straight for all the reader knows at this point.
  • Nerf NOW!!:
    • Subverted when a down on her luck Samus applies for a job at Angie's bar and sees a couch in her office, she immediately thinks this is where the interview will go. (And based on her reaction, it's strongly implied this was how she got the Metroid job in the first place.) Angie is rightly shocked when she comes into Samus stripped down to her Zero Suit. (In case you're wondering, she tells Samus she can't hire her because Nintendo might sue, then slips a note saying to apply under a fake name so Angie can claim ignorance.)
    • Earlier, when applying for a job at Overwatch, Anne implied she'd be perfectly happy doing this in order to get a job. Unfortunately, she tried to seduce Mercy.
  • Something*Positive has Monette accused of this by an older co-worker, who says something along the lines of "keeping on your back to get to the top". Monette's retort? "I learned from your mistakes since all you got out of it was bad knees and halitosis".
  • Subverted in this Toonhole strip. When the director finds that the actress will do anything to be put in the movies, instead of making her have sex with him, he makes her assist with his efforts to move into another home.

    Web Original 
  • Donnie DuPre is implied to have done this on occasion less for a shot at further stardom and more to feed himself. Given he was an orphaned ex-child star in Hollywood, this comes with a fair share of Fridge Horror.
  • The website Know Your Meme studies this trope as a meme here.
  • Referenced and parodied in Preach Gaming's Twitch stream session of Final Fantasy XIV where his audience made comments that his new house looks like a porn set. He had to reassure everyone that it's not and that he did not recreate the casting couch only for his friends to get naked just to annoy him.
  • Played for Laughs during Team Four Star's Let's Play of Bloodborne, where Kirran declares that Erika (Lanipator's wife) isn't really part of TFS. Erika retaliates with "Well I'm sorry that I had to sleep with the CEO just to get in!", and Kirran replies "So did I!" (Lani chimes in with "It's a very effective interview"). A few minutes later, someone in the chatroom asks if they can apply to join.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: While auditioning for a part on a reality show, Roger flat out tells the producers that he'll sleep with them to get the part. When talking about his audition to Francine, Roger claims to have had sex with both producers and the cameraman. However, Roger doesn't get the part.
  • The episode of Batman: The Animated Series titled, "Mean Seasons" has Batman and Batgirl investigate a calendar-based criminal who is targeting the heads of the fashion and entertainment industries. When they figure out that she was the "it" girl over ten years prior, they go question her former manager, who is sitting on a couch with a young girl trying to make her debut, and urging her to "negotiate" a contract with him. Batman and Batgirl arrive before anything happens, and Batgirl advises her to run away.
  • BoJack Horseman has a by-proxy example, where Sarah Lynn's Stage Mom implies that she slept with a Star Search producer in order to kickstart her three-year-old daugther's acting career.
  • In Clone High, JFK decides to make a movie for the film festival just to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this trope. He never actually makes his movie.
    JFK: Keep it down! Some of us are trying to nail Catherine the Great! Or should I say, Catherine the So-So!
  • An episode of The Critic had a beautiful actress with an upcoming movie start dating Jay. His actor friend Jeremy says this trope is happening, but Jay insists that it's love. When he sees the movie, she turns out to be a horrendous actress and in his review, he says so as nicely as he can. The next time she sees him, she slaps him, admits she just wanted a good review, and storms off. Made even more ironic is the fact if she put that skill to her actual acting career she would have been a great actress.
  • In Daria: Is It College Yet? what splits Jane and her lesbian Love Interest is that former slept with a man to enter a presitigious art school.
  • In the Family Guy episode "The King Is Dead", Peter prefaces his audition for his wife Lois's production of The King and I by joking that he's a shoo-in because "I'm doin' the director."
    • Another episode featured a young writer being pressured into sex by the head of Penguin Publishing. Who is himself a penguin.
    • A cutaway gag features Walt Disney pressuring Minnie Mouse to pose nude for him if she wants him to make her a big star.
  • One episode of Futurama has Bender pretend to be a moviemaker so that he can seduce some "young and naive" fembots. Then the Robot Devil shows up and drags him right off to Hell for that and other sins.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Nelson's mom plans to move to Hollywood because she landed a leading role in a movie production of Macbeth by sleeping with the director. She is most excited about doing a topless scene, even though she doesn't have to.