Phone Banks, Paid Time Off and Parties: What Hollywood's Biggest Agencies Are Doing For Election Day

6:00 AM 11/6/2018

by Patrick Shanley

Across the country, the representatives for the world's biggest stars are ensuring their employees have time to get out and vote.

WME's Party at the Polls event in Nashville
WME's Party at the Polls event in Nashville
Erika Goldring/WME IMG/Getty Images for WME

Major talent agencies are ensuring their employees have time to get out to the polls on Tuesday. From opening late to organizing events backed by their A-list clientele that promote early voting, the reps behind some of Hollywood's biggest stars are making their voices heard this Election Day. 

  • UTA

    Each of the agency's four U.S. offices — in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami and Nashville — will open at 10 a.m. local time. UTA will also enable employees to travel to the polls using its corporate client Lyft’s “Ride to Vote” program, which provides discounted transportation.

    Additionally, the agency has partnered with #VoteTogether, an initiative from Civic Nation, to host nonpartisan celebrations in each of the agency’s U.S. offices on Election Day.

    Internally, a number of UTA employees have organized get-out-the-vote phone and text banking in states including Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin and Indiana.

  • WME

    The agency will host an Election Night event Jack & Ben’s (its commissary) on Tuesday for its employees and also provide paid time off for early voting.

    Last month, the company hosted a Party at the Polls event to promote early voting in Nashville's Ascend Ampitheater with a concert featuring Sheryl Crow, Maren Morris, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jonathan McReynolds, Lucie Silvas, Gabriel Kelly and students from the March for Our Lives movement. Following the concert, attendees marched down the road backed by a second line band to the polling location at the Howard Office Building. Over 1,000 people attended the event.

    The Party at the Polls event was conceived by WME agent trainee Marissa Smith, who works in the company's Nashville office, and Amos Buhai, vp government relations for Endeavor. Smith attended Stoneman Douglas High School and was inspired to put together the event as a way of taking action against the shooting that occurred at her high school earlier this year. She opened the concert by making remarks on the issue.

  • ICM

    The agency is encouraging employees to vote by giving them two paid hours off in the morning to get to the polls. Additionally, leading up to Election Day, the ICM politics department hosted numerous election briefings in Los Angeles and New York to go over all the state and local initiatives and candidates and circulated a special voter guide to employees.

    On Monday, ICM Partners teamed with Lyft and GLAAD to sponsor the Telethon for America streaming event featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Judd Apatow, Allison Janney, Lil Rel Howery, Chelsea Handler, Adam Devine and many more stars to promote voting ahead of Election Day.

  • CAA

    The agency's U.S. offices will open at 11 a.m. to allow employees extra time to get to their local polling places. CAA will also host "Vote Together" parties in each of its offices, which is an element of the company's nonpartisan public awareness campaign I am a voter. The agency also will provide voting and ballot information specific to each city in which it has an office for those who choose to vote later in the day on Tuesday.

  • Paradigm

    Paradigm is giving employees two hours of paid time off to vote on Tuesday. 

    The agency also partnered with Headcount, a non-partisan organization, to encourage voter registration at its offices, including Los Angeles; Nashville; Monterey, California; San Diego; Austin, Texas; Berkeley, California; and Chicago. Paradigm's Social Impact department also provided materials to help staffers educate themselves on voting this year, focusing in polling locations, candidate information and ballot measures.

  • APA

    The agency is closing its offices in L.A. (along with Nashville, Atlanta and New York) early to give its employees and executives the time to vote. Citing statistics from the last midterm election in 2014 when voter participation was at its lowest (studies have shown one of the main reasons to be that voters missed their opportunity to vote because of inflexible job or school schedules), APA says it is making it as easy as possible for its employees to vote and encourages a collective industry decision.

    Adds APA president-CEO Jim Gosnell, “Given how ‘Hollywood’ finds itself in the center of a lot of political conversations, it is only appropriate that we encourage everyone in our industry to practice what we preach and to exercise one of the most fundamental rights we have in this country.”