CAA has announced a multi-pronged approach to deepen its commitment to diversity and inclusion within the company and in Hollywood at large, as protests over the killing of George Floyd consume the country.
As corporations speak out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in social media posts, the agency rolled out some immediate steps to contribute to larger discussions of systemic racism. This includes participation in the Blackout Tuesday demonstration on June 2, a music industry initiative encouraging creative businesses to go offline in recognition of the national conversation around racial inequality.
CAA Sports executive Lisa Joseph Metelus has also been appointed to CAA’s executive board, which manages day-to-day operations under president Richard Lovett and managing partners Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane.
“It is critical that our Board better reflects the real world,” Lovett said in a statement. “Lisa is a force. Beyond being a proven leader in one of the most successful divisions of CAA Sports, she is among the most accomplished and respected executives in the industry. She has a powerful voice, both smart and visionary, and we look forward to further amplifying her insights and perspective across the agency.”
Metelus is co-head of basketball marketing and servicing, and oversees the off-the-court efforts of more than four dozen emerging and NBA All-Star players — creating opportunities in endorsements, speaking, philanthropy, digital content, publishing, and more. Her clients include Dwyane Wade, Zion Williamson, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Collin Sexton. Earlier this year, she was integral in the ideation and launch of CAA AMP, a cultural strategy agency. Women of color in the upper echelons of the agency world are beyond rare. In January of 2019, Lorrie Bartlett of ICM became the first African American female to sit on the board of directors at a major talent shop.
“We have reached an inflection point for change in sports and entertainment. The need for inclusion of black voices in senior management level positions and board rooms is necessary for the progress of our industry and many other industries with global reach. It’s important that we reflect who we represent,” said Metelus. “This role allows me to bring my voice and perspective into the board room, to impact decision-making, drive new business development and continue advocating for our rising black leaders.”
The agency’s annual Amplify conference is also imminent, which gathers diverse leading artists and executives from organizations in entertainment, sports, media, brands, technology, and social justice to accelerate the growth, value, and visibility of diversity in business.
Other Hollywood agencies joining in the Blackout Tuesday effort includes WME, UTA, ICM and Agency for the Performing Arts, in addition to top record labels. The initiative, Sparked with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused, was created by Atlantic Records exec Jamila Thomas and Platoon’s Brianna Agyemang. It calls for a day of reflection and education, and furnished resources like a reading list called “Anti-Racism Resources.“