9:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Accused Agent Tyler Grasham May Land a New Gig
Tyler Grasham, the APA agent who was fired in October 2017 over sexual misconduct allegations — several male actors complained they'd been harassed or assaulted — could be landing a new gig that would mark his return to the representation business.
Raphael Berko of Media Artists Group, an agency with about a dozen staffers in offices in New York and L.A., confirms that he has met with Grasham and is mulling whether to bring him into the fold. "I learned he was a changed man who was ashamed of his past behavior, had become sober and was on a path to being an honorable person," MAG founder and president Berko told THR when asked about the possible hire. He explains that he did not know Grasham prior to the scandal and that he believes in redemption. "I am not naive, but I do believe people can change. I also learned that he was never charged with a crime, no lawsuits were filed against him or his employer, nor was he ever inappropriate with a client."
No offer has been made, and Berko says he will finalize a decision at a later date. If Grasham were to get the job, it's unclear how many clients, if any, he'd bring with him. In the past, he was a prominent rep specializing in young talent and he previously repped Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard and Descendants actor Cameron Boyce (both of whom left Grasham after the allegations were made public). Grasham declined comment.
The potential hiring once again raises questions of what happens to those who have been accused of misconduct in the #MeToo and Time's Up era. Louis C.K. has repeatedly tested the waters by performing stand-up during unannounced sets in New York City, while John Lasseter took a job at Skydance and Bryan Singer was hired to direct Red Sonja at Millennium Films. In the agency world, WME partner Adam Venit, who was accused of groping by actor Terry Crews, made the decision to retire from the agency last September.
Grasham could not be reached for comment.
Read Berko's full statement below.
Like many people in our industry, my mind was closed to the idea of working with Tyler Grasham. I did not know him personally and what I had read was obviously not good.
More than a dozen senior executives in our industry from all the networks, streamers and studios called me and asked me to meet with Tyler and listen to his story as they knew him, his journey and his commitment to being a better person.
In the meeting, I learned that he was indeed a changed man who was ashamed of his past behavior, had become sober and was on a path to being a decent, honorable person. I also learned that he was never charged with a crime, no lawsuits were filed against him or his employer, nor was he ever inappropriate with a client.
I have not hired him, but it is under consideration. I am not naive as to the way things work. But I do believe that people can change and learn from their mistakes, and I deeply embrace the concept of redemption. And I hope the community will share my hope that some people can improve and they should be given a second chance.
A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.