A Los Angeles Times expose published on Wednesday alleges that women and people of color have been subjected to harassment and bullying at ICM Partners.
The story spoke to 30 former and current employees at the Hollywood agency.
A rep from ICM told the Los Angeles Times, “HR does not have any records of such allegations.”
ICM partners CEO Chris Silbermann had been a proponent of “50/50 by 2020,” a promise — which the agency says that it met — to achieve gender parity in leadership positions.
But according to the LA Times story, almost a dozen women have submitted allegations of mistreatment to human resources department by their male bosses since 2017.
Three of ICM’s board members — Lorrie Bartlett, Jennifer Joel and Janet Carol Norton — defended the agency, saying in a statement that to the LA Times that claims that the company’s promise for 50/50 parity “was an insincere marketing ploy is utterly irreconcilable with both the facts and our personal experience.”
But others disputed their accounts.
“We were molded into thinking that being put down and yelled at was the way to become better, which is completely wrong,” Jennifer Jendrzejczyk, a former assistant at ICM who left the company last year, told the LA Times.
In addition, the report alleges that partner Steve Alexander exposed himself to a female film executive in a car, and claims that corporate communications chief Brad Turrell was verbally abusive to an assistant.
ICM said in a statement to the paper 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.”
The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Variety.
The roster of A-list clients at ICM Partners includes Shonda Rhimes, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee and Regina King, among others. It’s unclear what the fallout will be for the agency, and if some of its superstar clients will leave for rival agencies.
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