The agency also is taking the “50-50 by 2020” gender parity pledge.
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 Reporter has 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 below.
As we head into our final weekend before a well-deserved holiday break, I wanted to share some additional thoughts with everyone.
Needless to say, what follows is a reflection of the work of leaders across the company – women and men.
Today, let’s take a look at our commitments going forward, as well as commitments we made back in 1995, and what we learned and accomplished along the way.
First, going forward, we are committed to 50/50 leadership by 2020.
Within three years, we will have equal participation of women and men in our leadership and management.
1. Our Management Committee will be 50/50 by 2020.
2. The CAA-TPG board will be 50/50 by 2020.
3. Our 36-person Operations Group is already 50/50, comprised equally of women and men.
We are so grateful to our female colleagues, clients and others across the industry for bringing focus to this necessary and overdue goal. We are determined to make our clients proud and be a company of which all of you will continue to be proud.
We encourage others across our industry and beyond to consider joining us and the other companies who have also committed to 50/50 by 2020.
As everyone knows, we have long had many division leaders who are women. In addition, many women and men have led without a title, and are among the best executives in the industry.
I want to emphasize that the newly-formed Operations Group will be the center of our forward-looking work and thinking.
Back at our company retreat in 2013, as we continued our conversation about diversity, our friend and guest speaker Mellody Hobson posed the question: Is everyone at the table?
We were all moved and motivated by this simple and profound question that, as some of you may remember, we posted on the walls of our elevator as a daily motivator, challenge and reminder.
Our Operations Group makes clear that we are committed to being able to answer that question: At CAA, everyone IS at the table.
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. We all want to be treated respectfully. We all want to be included in energetic and positive opportunities.
Everyone here is at our best – individually and collectively – when we seize the opportunity for change and make a directional commitment.
This watershed moment is just such an opportunity.
We recognized a similar opportunity in 1995.
As we began our leadership, CAA had no habits connected to community service, outreach or cause-related work for our clients or our company.
We looked around and did not see many businesses that were examples of what we believed was a defining opportunity for a new generation of leaders.
We wanted to define success as an equation that began, of course, with the best client service. We knew that financial success would follow client service. But we also thought high-impact, participatory giving must be at the center of our definition of success.
We also knew that in the more competitive agency world and beyond, other companies would follow our lead, so as not to be left behind. And we welcomed that, because we knew that more people in need would be helped as a result.
Consider the influence and impact of the global company we are today; our reach across entertainment, sports, media, technology and so much more. It is clear that our work and leadership can have an immense positive impact.
Back in 1995, we could not have predicted the success of our foundation and all that would follow.
As we always say: everything connects.
We can draw a line from our first hire in 1995, Michelle Kydd Lee, and the forming of the foundation; to Christy Haubegger’s leadership of our diversity efforts, beginning in 2005; to the formation of our Social Impact group, led by Judee Ann Williams and Aubree Curtis in 2016; and the creation of CAA AMPLIFY, the first-ever multicultural business summit, held in June 2017.
Today, we have well-developed habits of high-impact service and giving across the company.
And now, moving forward, we are committed to creating together all the benefits of equally shared opportunity and responsibility.
With all that said, here is some additional information for those who may not be entirely aware of the work led by our foundation in the past two decades. Here is just a sampling of our efforts:
The CAA Foundation has supported thousands of organizations, providing financial resources and investing human capital through collaborations with our employees, clients, and policymakers, all working together to create meaningful change.
We are a team of rapid responders.
Twelve years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, we continue to make an impact with our efforts in New Orleans, sending teams of volunteers to assist in rebuilding efforts each year.
We provided on-site relief in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010.
We were in Tennessee after the floods in 2010 and tornado in Tuscaloosa in 2011; created the Nashville Rising and ‘Bama Rising benefits, which collectively raised $4.4 million for those shattered regions; and continue to coordinate annual volunteer trips to both areas annually.
In partnership with AmeriCares, we sent a team to Japan after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011. We were on the ground in The Rockaways immediately after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and continue to bring support to the area.
In the last 12 months alone, the CAA Foundation has:
· Coordinated employee participation in women’s marches globally and hosted the co-chairs of the Women’s March for a roundtable discussion.
· Sponsored and hosted events for more than 50 non-profit organizations including GLAAD, MLT, South Central Scholars, Women in Film, Step Up Women’s Network, National Association of Latino Independent Producers, American Black Film Festival, and Ghetto Film School, among others.
· Donated significant time and money to important causes, including public education, the arts; LGBTQ issues, women’s rights, military veterans, refugees, and environmental issues and more.
· Launched Take Action Day: a day-long, non-partisan summit that welcomed more than two dozen thought-leaders, organizers and politicians to share insights and ideas on topical issues and ways to take social action.
· Formed CAA Civics, a non-partisan employee-led and created group dedicated to promoting civic engagement and citizenship, our seventh employee-created and -led group.
· Hosted School Day: A campaign that benefits the dropout prevention organization Communities in Schools which also includes a day of programming in our offices for 200 hundred students to learn more about higher education.
· Organized by the Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, and London chapters of the CAA Task Force, our annual benefit events have collectively raised more than three million dollars for a variety of non-profit organizations.
· Hosted more than 300 students in our building through employee-led education workshops.
· Brought holiday cheer to more than 150 families in our communities through Adopt-A-Family and other holiday gifting programs.
In a week, we will complete our year and then enjoy vacation with family and friends.
Let’s come back rested and energized to create ground-breaking opportunities for our clients, and ready to be our best in handling challenges and opportunities ahead.
Dec. 11, 3:55 p.m. Edited to add further context.