Hollywood talent agents are famously competitive with one another. Whether big or boutique, agencies parry and joust in wooing talent and sealing deals.

But some issues transcend money and ego. Hate speech is one of them.

Bob Gersh, longtime leader of the agency founded by his father in the 1960s, has watched Kanye West’s abhorrent outbursts of antisemitism over the past two weeks with dismay. On Saturday, the Gersh Agency chief reached out to Variety to express support for Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel’s call for businesses to condemn and cut ties with West. That list includes Apple, Spotify and Adidas. West has already had accounts restricted on Twitter and Instagram because of the nature of his comments about Jewish people.

“This is as low as it can get,” Gersh told Variety of West’s recent comments. “This is the most blatant form of hatred and antisemitism one could imagine. It doesn’t get any worse than this. People really need to hammer these companies in business with him to impress upon them how wrong it is to support somebody like this.”

Gersh credited his longtime rival with making a strong case for why industry leaders need to step up and be vocal about hate speech in his op-ed in The Financial Times, “Business silence on Kanye West’s anti-Semitism is not an option.”

“This is a moment in history where the stakes are high and being open about our values, and living them, is essential. Silence and inaction are not an option,” Emanuel wrote. “This is why it is necessary for all of us to speak out. Hatred and anti-Semitism should have no place in our society, no matter how much money is at stake.”

Gersh called Emanuel’s stance “right on” and credited his longtime rival with taking a public stand. The uproar over West’s statements has already cost him his association with the Balenciaga fashion house, which confirmed Friday that it has ended its business relationship with West.

On the importance of decision-makers to speak out, Gersh points to the dark legacy of the Blacklist era in 1940s and ’50s Hollywood. His father, the legendary tenpercenter Phil Gersh, represented screenwriters who were part of the Hollywood 10, notably Abraham Polonsky, Albert Maltz and Edward Dmytryk.

“People didn’t speak out then and people’s careers were ruined,” Gersh said of the anti-Communist witch hunts of the McCarthy era.

Famous Artists, the prosperous firm that Phil Gersh ran in the late 1950s, also aided in the early career of Harry Belafonte, who was quick to use his celebrity to support civil rights and social justice causes. Bob Gersh grew up seeing Belafonte perform and speak at Los Angeles-area events, alongside his brother and business partner, David Gersh.

“Dad set the tone for our business and for our world,” Bob Gersh said. “With those kind of values of supporting Belafonte and the Hollywood 10 writer-directors, that’s been a great legacy conferred on our business and we’ve tried to continue that.”

In contemporary times, Gersh cited actor David Schwimmer and Mandy Moore as clients who have been supported by the agency for their activism. And a number of Gersh-repped showrunners were involved in setting the statement of expectations from networks and studios on reproductive rights in light of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“People need to speak out. We can’t stay silent and we have to keep it up, like on the abortion front,” he said. “We can’t let up. We’ve got to be talking about it in a month or two from now as well.”