Story at a glance:

  • ICM Partners is the agency for many stars such as Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, Regina King, Michael Keaton and Wanda Sykes.
  • An anonymous film finance executive alleged she was flashed by an agency partner inside a car.
  • “HR does not have any records of such allegations,” ICM said.

More than 30 former and current employees at an entertainment firm have alleged the company has tolerated a hostile work environment.

ICM Partners, the agency for many stars such as Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, Regina King, Michael Keaton and Wanda Sykes, is one of the few agencies that publicly committed itself to gender equality through an initiative called "50/50 by 2020" in 2017, The Los Angeles Times reported.


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The Times notes that the company has seen some progress. At least half the agents promoted to partner since 2017 have been female, the company said, and by March, 15 of its 23 departments were run or co-run by women. However, there are moments when the company has turned a blind eye to mistreatment of its female employees and employees of color, the paper reported.

Sources of the Times’s story redacted their names because they signed non-disclosure agreements for fear retaliation from the company.

An anonymous film finance executive alleged she was flashed by an agency partner inside a car. The agent denied it, but on a separate occasion, an actress said the agent made sexual advances toward her and had her account of the story verified by two sources. 

“HR does not have any records of such allegations,” ICM said.

The LA Times claims a close source knows about the company’s investigation on the matter and have taken disciplinary actions.

According to the paper, the ICM has also asked its Black staffers to pose as agent-trainees for a photoshoot to promote the company and to portray the company as a more diverse workplace than sources say existed.

In a statement sent to Changing America, three ICM female board members and department heads, Lorrie Bartlett, Jennifer Joel and Janet Carol Norton, said, “Any insinuation that our 50/50 by 2020 pledge was an insincere marketing ploy is utterly irreconcilable with the both the facts and our personal experience.”

The statement continued, “Neither we nor our company are perfect; no one is. In a challenging, competitive, and labor-intensive industry that demands much of its participants, we feel privileged to enjoy both a safe and encouraging environment, fair and abundant opportunities, and the respect and support of all colleagues of all genders. With them, we continue to be engaged in a concerted effort towards a better and more equitable culture that will have broad, deep and longstanding effects on our peers and our clients.”

ICM Partners CEO Chris Silbermann, who announced the "50/50 by 2020" pledge, declined a request for comment to the Times.


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Published on May 06, 2021