CAA Issues Apology after Report Finds Talent Agency Failed to Act on Weinstein Complaints

Creative Artists Agency issued a public apology this week after the New York Times reported that the talent agency apparently failed to protect its clients from alleged sexual misconduct by powerful movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The Times‘ Tuesday report, titled “Weinstein’s Complicity Machine,” claimed that at least eight CAA agents or staffers were informed that the now-disgraced producer had sexually harassed or assaulted clients there, but failed to act on the information.

Instead, the paper reported, the agency continued to send its clients for private meetings with the producer.

The paper also reported that CAA managing partner Bryan Lourd had attempted to set up a meeting between Weinstein and agency client Ronan Farrow, after the former learned the latter was working on a potentially damaging story about his behavior.

“This guy won’t meet right now,” Lourd reportedly wrote to Weinstein in a September email obtained by the Times. “He did say he will call you soon. I think he is absolutely pursuing the story.”

Farrow’s bombshell story was eventually published in The New Yorker in November.

In its apology statement, the agency said it wanted to make clear that “even one” of its clients being harassed was too many.

“We apologize to any person the agency let down for not meeting the high expectations we place on ourselves, as individuals and as a company,” the statement read. “We unequivocally support those who have spoken out publicly.  Out of respect for our clients, we will maintain the confidence of anything said in private conversations.”

The statement continues:

We are committed to continuing to champion female actors, writers, directors and producers for the best creative and commercial opportunities; achieving gender equality and pay equity; and adding more women into positions of leadership and operational supervision at CAA.  We continue to take additional action.  We established an initiative called Evolve, led by a group of 17 women, to evaluate and improve our existing policies and practices to ensure even greater vigilance, awareness, and information-sharing in preventing harassment.

We are determined to succeed for our clients and employees in this regard.  We will continue to use the influence and resources we have, inside and outside the company, working alongside equally motivated women and men, to help create permanent change.

In addition to the claims in the Times report, CAA may be facing legal troubles of its own.

In November, actress Demi Mann filed a lawsuit against both the agency and her former agent, Cameron Mitchell, alleging Mitchell sexually harassed and assaulted her over a number of years. The agency vowed to conduct an investigation and take “appropriate action.”

 

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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