A group of seriously ill children appear to have become collateral damage in a war between Hollywood talent agencies.
Comedian George Lopez became one of the latest stars to bail on Hollywood firm Creative Artists Agency a week ago, when he jumped ship to sign with rival United Talent Agency. CAA then asked for the return of its donation to Lopez’s charity golf tournament, of which proceeds go to benefit sick kids.
The comedian and former talk show host left the agency after more than a decade, after his reps moved to UTA. Page Six reports CAA heads responded by suing the firm.
Lopez will hold his annual Celebrity Golf Classic at Toluca Lake, Calif., on May 4, and before he left, CAA pledged $7,500 to sponsor four of its agents in the tournament.
That donation and others are said to go directly to the Painted Turtle, which gives children with serious medical conditions the chance to go to summer camp. The camp’s website states children with more than 30 medical conditions visit The Painted Turtle each year, “reclaiming the joys of childhood.”
Last week organizers for the event reportedly received an email from CAA demanding the $7,500 be returned since the agents would no longer be competing in the tournament.
A source told Page Six: “George has given CAA millions in commissions over the years, and they respond to him leaving by taking back a $7,500 donation that would help sick children? This shows how bitter they have become over the so-called ‘agency war.’”
Last year’s tournament hauled in $510,000, and Lopez later said: “The George Lopez Foundation will be able to send kids with kidney disease to the Painted Turtle Camp, where they can go and have fun and not worry about being sick. It’s incredible.”
While neither George nor his former agency have weighed-in on the controversy, one source close to the company told the site: “George Lopez is no longer a CAA client, so naturally CAA agents would not play as a foursome in his tournament. The agency has instead decided to give an amount that is in fact larger directly to the Painted Turtle.”