×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

WME, CAA Leaders Address Sexual Harassment Controversies With Staffers

Leaders of WME and CAA have made efforts to address the sexual harassment crisis sweeping through the entertainment industry by encouraging employees at all levels to come forward if they experience or witness such behavior.

On Monday morning, WME CEO Ari Emanuel and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell convened a company-wide meeting of agents to discuss the recent swirl of allegations and the situation that emerged on Friday involving motion picture head Adam Venit and actor Terry Crews, who is a WME client.

On Friday, it was revealed that Venit was the Hollywood executive who Crews accused of groping him at a party. The actor told the story of the incident with an unnamed executive in a Twitter message he sent on Oct. 10, in response to the wave of disclosures from women about past experiences with sexual harassment with producer Harvey Weinstein and others.

It’s understood that Crews had been weighing in recent days whether to publicly name Venit as the executive. Venit went on leave last week while WME investigates the situation that happened more than a year ago. Emanuel and Whitesell acknowledged the situation, first reported by Variety.

Emanuel and Whitesell also held a separate meeting with the agency’s assistants to reinforce that there will be no retaliation or hurdles to advancement for those who report incidents of inappropriate behavior related to work. One participant likened the message to the “if you see something, say something” slogan used in anti-terrorism campaigns.

Meanwhile, sources said CAA last week held a meeting in the TV department to clarify the various responsibilities of senior agents and establishing clear lines of reporting for various duties, all under the direction of TV chief Steve Lafferty. The TV department faced an abrupt change in late September when TV lit head Ryan Ly was let go following allegations of inappropriate behavior from five women in the department. Ly has not responded to Variety‘s requests for comment.

During the meeting, the discussion turned to the general topic of workplace harassment. Department leaders urged younger agents to report any problems early in an effort to ensure a nurturing and productive environment for all.

(Pictured: WME’s Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel)

More Biz

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Nicholas Sparks Apologizes, Explains Opposition to LGBT Club

    Romance writer Nicholas Sparks issued an apology on Monday for remarks he made in 2013 opposing the formation of an LGBT club at his Christian school. In an email published last week by the Daily Beast, Sparks faulted Saul Benjamin, who was then the headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, for pushing an [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 Production

    'Game of Thrones,' Netflix VFX Among Those to Be Featured in SIGGRAPH Production Talks

    VFX pros behind the final season of “Game of Thrones,” the blockbuster film “Avengers: Endgame,” Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story 4,” last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Netflix series, including “Stranger Things,” and more will give SIGGRAPH 2019 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at their work during the conference’s Production Sessions. There will even be a [...]

  • welcome home Apple Ad

    Cannes Lions Takes Place in Time of Change for Ad World

    The ad industry gathers June 17-21 for its annual celebration of commercials, marketing and creativity, the Cannes Lions in the French Riviera. It does so against a backdrop of ongoing and profound upheaval within the world of advertising. The share prices of all the major ad groups, such as WPP, Publicis and Omnicom, are down [...]

  • R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With

    R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With Interscope Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records, the company announced exclusively to Variety today. “Ann Marie is the prototype for today’s artist,” says Nicole Wyskoarko, the label’s EVP of urban operations. “She’s developed and cultivated a dedicated fan base using the tools of today [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Branded Content Campaigns Help Ads Cut Through Clutter

    The business of advertising has changed from the days when an expensive 30-second spot was the be-all and end-all of a campaign, leading many commercials production companies and their directors to diversify. In an era of content overload, when it’s easier than ever for consumers to skip an ad or avoid it altogether, many advertisers [...]

  • Gloria Vanderbilt Dead at 95

    Gloria Vanderbilt Dies at 95

    Gloria Vanderbilt, a famous model and socialite who was often a subject of fascination in the worlds of fashion and media, has died at 95, according to a report on CNN, where her son, anchor Anderson Cooper, has worked for several years. From a young age, Vanderbilt led a tumultuous life, one marked by a [...]

  • Patrick Drahi

    Altice's Patrick Drahi to Acquire Sotheby's Auction House for $3.7 Billion

    Patrick Drahi, the owner of the telecom group Altice, is on track to purchase Sotheby’s, the high-profile auction house, for $3.7 billion. The acquisition would turn Sotheby’s into a privately owned concern after 31 years as a publicly listed company on the New York Stock Exchange. Drahi said the acquisition had “no capital link with Altice [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content