How Hollywood Agencies Are Responding to Harvey Weinstein Fallout
Leadership across the town's top talent representation firms have denounced the producer's alleged behavior in staff meetings and internal memos.
On Monday morning, after a weekend that saw Harvey Weinstein removed from his production company following mounting accusations of sexual misconduct, ICM Partners managing partner Chris Silbermann made the news the first order of business at the all-agency staff meeting, conducted simultaneously via video conference across the Los Angeles, New York and London offices.
According to a spokesperson for the agency, Silbermann, speaking on behalf of the partnership, denounced Weinstein's reported behavior "in the strongest possible terms" and informed staffers that every partner had an open-door policy for discussing Weinstein or other matters related to harassment. Over the two weeks prior to The New York Times' bombshell Oct. 5 report that kicked off the ongoing avalanche of revelations, ICM had just completed mandatory sexual harrassment training for all employees, and during the Oct. 9 morning meeting Silbermann reminded the staff of the agency's zero-tolerance policy.
Hollywood's other major talent agencies have taken a similar approach to addressing the story that has consumed the industry in a very personal way, with leadership raising the matter in written or verbal communication to staff.
Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel and UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer both weighed in via internal memos on Wednesday. In an email titled "What This Means for Us," Zimmer wrote that he was "disgusted" by the reports of Weinstein's sexual harassment and assault and added that the unfolding saga "should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone in our industry who believes moguls own their thrones."
Zimmer also wrote that he was proud of the female UTA clients who have come forward with their personal accounts of Weinstein's predatory behavior, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Kate Beckinsale, and encouraged employees to report any behavior that threatens or violates their safety or comfort, or that of colleagues and clients: "UTA will never be silent or complicit. From leaders to assistants, our behaviors must model the highest ethics and standards. You are safe to come forward. Go to your leaders and mentors. Go to our Human Resources team. There are always things we can do better — to learn and grow in our choices and behavior."
A source tells The Hollywood Reporter that CAA leadership has discussed the issue throughout the week. In response to a request for comment, Gersh provided the following statement to THR: "The Agency is extremely distraught by the recent allegations made against Harvey Weinstein and we are saddened by the tragic impact to many individuals in our industry. We support the women coming forward and hope that these revelations will help our society move into the right direction and eradicate this type of immoral and offensive conduct. We strive for the highest ethical standards here at Gersh and will continue our commitment to decency and equality."
And APA said: "All of us at APA are deeply disturbed by the recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein. We denounce this conduct in any form, and our sadness and support for the victims who have courageously come forward cannot be understated. We all must commit to eradicating such abhorrent behavior in our community. At APA, we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and pledge to continue our unwavering commitment to diversity, empowerment, tolerance and inclusion in the workplace that are the cornerstones of our corporate culture."
UTA's full email is below.
Subject: What This Means for Us
We've all read the news.
As a father, a husband, a colleague and a human being, I am disgusted. Harvey earned his demise. And it should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone in our industry who believes moguls own their thrones.
But I can say that I'm also proud… of the courageous women we represent who have strongly come forward… and of the culture of inclusiveness, tolerance and empowerment that we strive every day to build at UTA.
So let me be crystal clear about who we are — and what we stand for: UTA respects and protects the boundaries of our colleagues and clients. UTA does not tolerate behavior that crosses those lines. UTA will never be silent or complicit. From leaders to assistants, our behaviors must model the highest ethics and standards. Because our values matter.
If you feel uncomfortable, threatened or exposed, if a client feels that way, if a colleague does — you are safe to come forward. Go to your leaders and mentors. Go to our Human Resources team.
There are always things we can do better — to learn and grow in our choices and behavior. But fear and silence is never the answer… you will be heard.
Oct. 12, 12:49 p.m. Edited to add responses from Gersh and Endeavor.
Oct. 12, 5:44 p.m. Edited to add responses from ICM and CAA, and changed headline to reflect reactions from all agencies.
Oct. 13, 5:46 p.m. Added statement from APA.