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Questions Raised About Hollywood Agency’s Commitment To Diversity and Anti-Harassment

The Los Angeles Times published an in-depth article challenging ICM’s commitment to diversity and a healthy working environment. In 2017, the agency publicly pledged to achieve gender parity in leadership positions and on their board by 2020. Reporting by the paper suggests that behind the scenes, successful talent agents continue to be allowed to engage in questionable conduct because they produce.

30 former and current ICM employees interviewed by the Los Angeles Times shared stories showing the agency allows a hostile work environment for women and people of color. Approximately a dozen women said they reported allegations of mistreatment by male agents and managers throughout the company. ICM responded, “HR does not have any records of such allegations.” The various incidents alleged show male agents and managers screaming and yelling at female employees, in some instances exposing themselves. ICM claims it does not tolerate such behavior. The people who spoke to the paper did not share their names because of non-disparagement agreements or fear of retaliation. Most of these employees were low-level, receiving little pay and turning over quickly. They feel they received little support from human resources.

The agency has issues with diversity as well. In 2019, HR asked Black assistants to pose as agent-trainees for a video on the agent-trainee program; there were not enough Black people in the program. In June 2020, some assistants and administrative staff grouped together to push for a higher hourly wage because they believe the “systemic absence of racial diversity at the agency to be a direct result of our low wages.” The employees argue that if the company truly wants to increase Black and brown faces, then it must increase pay. ICM has few Black leaders and just one Black board member. Of the 60 partners and managing directors, four are Black, three Asian, and one person identifies as multi-racial. 40% of its partners are women, according to the agency. In January, ICM promoted 14 agents. None of those promoted are reportedly Black or Latino.