Please Don’t Feed (or Pay) the Interns

Pop quiz: What’s the difference between an entry-level job and an internship? The answer, increasingly, is not that much—except if you’re lucky enough to be called an intern, you often won’t be paid for it. There’s been no shortage of recent press coverage about the spread of unpaid internships; much rarer is something like Please Don’t Feed the Interns, a half-hour documentary that outlines the landscape of unpaid internships through interviews with interns, employers, and other knowledgeable folks. Also noteworthy is that the interns interviewed here are all female, which is indicative of a larger trend: the vast majority of unpaid internships are held by women.

It’s a strong documentary that does a great job of not only laying out the scene, but also revealing the range of attitudes that different people hold towards the popular and increasingly controversial practice. (Just to be forthright: I’m part of a group that’s involved in organizing for fair internships, but they didn’t ask me to post this or anything like that.) You can check out an interview with Jackie Whiting, who produced the documentary, here.

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