Rep Sheet Roundup: WME Signs MacArthur "Genius" Documentarian Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson - Publicity - P 2018
Courtesy of WME

THR’s at-a-glance look at the week in representation news.

Who got signed, promoted, hired or fired? The Hollywood Reporter’s Rep Sheet rounds up the week in representation news. To submit announcements for consideration, contact

Officially a Genius

Documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson has signed with WME in all areas. His work, which chronicles African-American history and experience, includes Freedom Riders and The Murder of Emmett Till, both of which won Emmys (the latter also won Sundance's Grand Jury Prize in 2003); The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution; and Freedom Summer. His latest documentary feature, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, premiered at Sundance last year before airing on PBS. His independent production company Firelight Media, which he founded with writer and philanthropy executive Marcia Smith in 2000, produces socially conscious documentaries about diverse communities, particularly people of color.

Nelson's many accolades include receiving a MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Grant" and a National Humanities Medal from former President Barack Obama. In 2016 alone, he received a Peabody Individual Award, the International Documentary Association's Career Achievement Award and a News and Documentary Emmy for lifetime achievement.

WME also has signed Dolly Parton in North America. According to Nielsen, the icon is country music's No. 1 most marketable, recognizable and beloved artist in the world, with 41 Top 10 country albums (25 certified gold or better), 110 charting singles, 25 Billboard Country No. 1 songs and seven Grammys, and she is one of just five women to have been named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year.

Parton is a member of both the Country Music and Songwriters halls of fame, and she has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her Dollywood theme parks draw 4.5 million visitors every year and employ more than 3,000 people. Parton's Dollywood Foundation funds the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which provides a book a month from birth to kindergarten to participating children in more than 800 communities in 41 states. In 2016, Parton launched the My People Fund to help wildfire victims in Tennessee's Sevier County, and a year later created the Mountain Tough organization to continue aid, pledging more than $3 million.

Happy Signing Day

Comic book writer and Happy Death Day screenwriter Scott Lobdell has signed with Abrams Artists Agency and Zero Gravity Management for film, television and new media. The Universal/Blumhouse horror comedy grossed more than $122 million last year against a $4.8 million budget. Lobdell drove Marvel Comics' "Age of Apocalypse" storyline in the mid-1990s, and his comics titles include Uncanny X-Men, Generation X, X-Men, Daredevil, Iron Man and Fantastic Four, as well as the original graphic novel series Ball & Chain. Lobdell continues to be repped by the Law Offices of Joan Vento Hall.

Whip That Hair

ICM Partners has curated an all-female lineup for its seventh annual SXSW showcase, which will take place Thrusday at The Belmont in Austin, Texas. Willow Smith, Kamaiyah, Rapsody, Cuban Doll, Izar, Kamillion, Kodie Shane, Molly Brazy, Lxuise, Savanna , Taliwhoah, Tayá and Tayla Parx will perform, with sounds by Kitty Cash and DJ Osh Kosh. The 21+ show will be sponsored by Cantu Beauty, Bumble, Modern Portable and Glamour.

Others on the Dotted Line

London-based fashion house Karen Millen has signed with IMG for its first exclusive worldwide licensing partnership.

Icon PR has signed:

  • Miles Mussenden, who will be a series regular on Freeform's upcoming Marvel series Cloak & Dagger
  • Brian Guest, who plays assistant U.S. attorney Tim Searight on USA's Unsolved

Coded{pr} has hired former HL Group vp Kate Olsen Walters as partner and executive vp. In addition to her time at HL Group, where her clients included Athletic Propulsion Labs, David Yurman, Delpozo, TOMS, MILLY and UGG, Walters' 17 years of experience also includes stints at agencies BPCM Worldwide and LaForce + Stevens. She spent the last year unofficially consulting for coded{pr}. "It is truly a rarity to come across such a talented, poised and experienced professional that would welcome and embrace the challenges accompanied with running a fast-growing, boutique firm," coded{pr} founder and president Jennifer Wentzo said in a statement. "I consider the timing and opportunity serendipitous, and after nearly one year of working closely with Kate on a consulting basis, I had no doubt in mind that a better partner ceased to exist."

Elsewhere in Rep World:

Insecure Star Jay Ellis Signs With UTA
Gersh, Echo Lake Sign Filmmaker of European Refugee Drama Styx
Don Buchwald & Associates Rebrands to Buchwald
UTA Hires Ben Coleman as Theatre Agent