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UTA Closes Offices and Asks Employees to Work Remotely Over Coronavirus Fears (EXCLUSIVE)

UTA
Courtesy of UTA

United Talent Agency is closing its numerous office locations to curb the spread of coronavirus, asking agents and employees to work from home, Variety has learned.

A memo from UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer informed staff of the closure, which will last “into the coming weeks.”

On Wednesday, the company announced it would shutter on Friday to test an agency-wide work day from home. On Thursday evening, the plan was to stop accepting outside visitors for meetings on campus.

“From the start of the coronavirus outbreak, we have worked hard to make decisions guided by the best available science and that put the health and well-being of our UTA family first. That has led us to make the decision now to close UTA’s physical offices worldwide effective at the end of business today, Thursday, March 12, and direct our colleagues to work from home for at least the coming weeks,” wrote Zimmer.

Notable clients include Timothee Chalamet, Anthony Mackie, Chris Pratt, Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo and Priyanka Chopra. UTA has branches in locations like New York, London, Miami and Nashville.

More to come. Read the full memo:

This is not a reactive decision. There has been no diagnosis of an employee or other specific event. This is a proactive decision that reflects evolving public health guidance and the simple, intuitive fact that we are all connected. Many of us may not be in the groups of highest risk, but we all have friends and neighbors who are. Now is the time to follow the science and act for the greater good. This is a moment to think not only about our colleagues and families, but our communities.

We’re fortunate to have jobs that largely make it possible to do our work over the phone, on email and via videoconferencing. We will make sure every member of our UTA family maintain their jobs, their paychecks and their health and other core benefits during this period. Although our physical doors will be closed for a time, our business remains open and we’ll continue to work as effectively as we can. We’ll implement tomorrow’s work-from-home system test in real time. We’ll work hard to ensure our IT systems provide all the support possible to effectively manage our business needs. And I am confident we will see continued creativity and commitment to how we do our work on behalf of our clients.

To be clear: the closure of all our physical offices is not optional. Until we decide otherwise, no one will be permitted access to any office. We will be in touch with more information about our remote work processes.

In the meantime, thank you – to every one of our colleagues – for working together through this unprecedented moment. And stay well.

Jeremy