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Sexual misconduct allegations pile up at Hollywood talent agency: report

Sexual misconduct allegations pile up at Hollywood talent agency: report
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In a report published by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, multiple former and current employees at major Hollywood talent agency ICM Partners allege the company allowed a culture of harassment and hostility towards women and people of color to grow, despite claiming to have achieved gender parity last year.

More than 30 former and current employees of ICM Partners spoke to the Times, detailing around a dozen instances in which women reported mistreatment from male agents and managers.

Following the watershed rise of the "Me Too" movement, ICM — which represents well-known names like Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton and Wanda Sykes — pledged to achieve gender parity across its leadership positions by the year 2020 in an effort it dubbed "50/50 by 2020." The Times notes that the company claimed to have achieved this last year, with at least half of the agents promoted to partner positions being female.

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“Companies work best when ... there is a balance of men and women in positions of leadership and positions all across the company,” ICM CEO Chris Silbermann said in 2018. “We can’t be a company of a bunch of guys who look like me.”

However, people who have worked with ICM told the Times that these efforts did not stem harassment.

The Times reports that one of the more serious incidents involved a woman who did not work for ICM. Three people familiar with the matter told the outlet that a partner at ICM allegedly exposed himself to a film finance executive while they were inside her car.

Another incident involved an actress who said her male agent had made an unwanted advance while in a hotel lobby. The agent denied the incident occurred, the Times reports.

The Times notes that ICM previously received backlash in 2019 for a video shoot in which Black support staff said they were asked by management to pose as high-ranking agent-trainees to make the agency appear more diverse.

ICM told the Times in a statement that it “does not tolerate harassment, bullying or other inappropriate conduct. HR investigates all reports received and addresses each with appropriate disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal.”

Three female ICM board members — Lorrie Bartlett, Jennifer Joel and Janet Carol — told the Times, "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."