WME Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
WME put itself on ice Tuesday afternoon, becoming the latest participant in the viral ALS Association campaign sweeping the nation in the dog days of summer.
The talent agents were challenged by clients Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and Garrett Hedlund (who, along with their Pan cast and crew, also nominated Mission Impossible 5 and Star Wars’ entire casts and crews) to either dump a bucket of ice water over their heads or donate to the organization. (Cruise and MI:5 director Christopher McQuarrie have already responded.) WME co-CEO Patrick Whitesell quickly organized the effort, sending out an agency-wide email yesterday afternoon. At 3 p.m. in Beverly Hills Tuesday, Whitesell and co-CEO Ari Emanuel led approximately 300 of their employees (nearly half of its L.A. office) to take the frozen plunge. (WME’s New York, Nashville and London offices participated as well, and the combined staff also gave more than $25,000 to the nonprofit, which raises funds to combat Lou Gehrig’s disease.) The agency then called out CBS president and CEO Les Moonves, Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino and Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara and their respective companies to take up the dare, which according to the rules of the challenge must be completed within 24 hours.
More and more celebrities and industry members have joined the “fun," including soon-to-be Wonder Woman Gal Gadot Tuesday, who in turn dared her Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder, Kate Winslet and former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter.
As of Aug. 19, the ALS Association has raised $22.9 million in donations as a result of its campaign, compared to just $1.9 million over the same July 29 to Aug. 19 period last year. The organization also reported 453,210 first-time donors during the campaign.
Here's the Pan cast's original challenge video: