In lieu of its annual pre-Golden Globes party, this year CAA is helping to establish a legal defense fund for sexual harassment cases, The Hollywood Reporterhas learned.
The financial resources that normally would be committed to the Friday night bash — which has been held in the past at hotspots including Soho House and Catch LA — will be redirected to a legal defense fund to assist victims of workplace harassment cases from all industries, not just entertainment, a source tells THR. The intention is to honor the agency’s nominated clients — which include The Post’s Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg; Molly’s Game’s Jessica Chastain and Aaron Sorkin; Big Little Lies’ Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon; I, Tonya’s Margot Robbie; and Lady Bird’s Saoirse Ronan — while being mindful of the cultural reckoning that has taken place in Hollywood over the past two months with respect to sexual harassment and other forms of abuse, a process that began with multiple accusations against Harvey Weinstein published in The New York Times and The New Yorker in early October. (Netflix has dropped its traditional Globes afterparty co-host The Weinstein Co.)
CAA itself was named in a Dec. 5 Times story about Weinstein’s “complicity machine,” which reported that multiple agents had been told about the producer’s behavior toward women over the years but continued to arrange private meetings with female clients for him. “We want to make clear to clients and colleagues that even one of our clients being harassed over the company’s 42 years is one too many,” the agency stated in response to the article. “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.”
CAA also has joined the “50-50 by 2020” pledge, which commits to achieving gender parity in company leadership in three years’ time. “We are so grateful to our female colleagues, clients and others across the industry for bringing focus to this necessary and overdue goal,” president Richard Lovett wrote in a memo sent agencywide on Friday. “Lasting change requires new day-to-day habits. We must act in support of our shared truth: Our business and our lives will be better and stronger if we treat each other the way we wish to be treated.”
The agency’s pledge involves its management committee — which two weeks ago added Risa Gertner and Sherrie Sage Schwartz to join committee member Michelle Kydd Lee — the CAA-TPG board and the operations group, the finance and workplace culture-focused body that formed two weeks ago with a gender-balanced team of 36 department heads and emerging leaders.
ICM Partners announced its participation in the pledge last week. Meanwhile, WME provided seed funding for Women in Film’s sexual-harassment help line, which went live Dec. 1, and UTA hosted a conversation with Anita Hill and the National Women’s Law Center president and CEO Fatima Goss Graves on Friday. In February, UTA canceled its pre-Oscar party in favor of a rally to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee.
Read Lovett’s full memo on THR.com.