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William Morris Endeavor has hired an independent law firm to investigate workplace harassment claims against partner Philip Raskind, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The agency has hired the Fromholz Firm, a Los Angeles-based law firm that specializes in employment issues, and an investigator has contacted multiple people this week to discuss Raskind’s workplace behavior, according to a well-placed source. The firm, led by attorney Anne Fromholz, offers “a neutral investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct,” its website states.
In a statement to THR, a spokesperson for WME said, “We do not comment on individual HR matters, however we do treat all claims of misconduct seriously, and take action based on the findings of a thorough investigation.” The law firm did not respond to a request for comment on the investigation.
Raskind, a partner in WME’s motion picture literary department, counts among his clients Logan filmmaker James Mangold and directors Kevin Smith and McG. He also has worked on the agency’s teams repping Charlize Theron, Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey. Raskind has been with WME since its Endeavor days, defecting from ICM to join the then-upstart agency in the mid-1990s.
Details of the focus of the Raskind investigation are not known, but two sources close to the situation say it involves claims of sexual misconduct and fellow employees.
WME’s move to hire an outside investigator comes as many companies in Hollywood are taking claims of workplace harassment much more seriously in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. In some instances, investigations end with employees being cleared of wrongdoing, but some probes have led to terminations or demotions. In the agency world, CAA, APA and ICM Partners have in recent months cut ties with employees accused of workplace misconduct.
In October, WME client Terry Crews accused agent Adam Venit of sexually assaulting him at a 2016 industry party. Venit returned to WME after a one-month suspension. Crews dropped the agency and later filed an assault and battery lawsuit against Venit. That suit is still pending.
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