Bryan Lourd, chief executive officer of Creative Artists Agency, disputed allegations by rival Ari Emanuel that his company and its executives knew convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein was a danger to women in Hollywood and let their clients meet with him privately.
(Bloomberg) — Bryan Lourd, chief executive officer of Creative Artists Agency, disputed allegations by rival Ari Emanuel that his company and its executives knew convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein was a danger to women in Hollywood and let their clients meet with him privately.
“We all know Ari Emanuel to be incredibly performative, erratic, and in my mind always a self-serving human being, not only to the detriment of his colleagues but his clients, the few that he has left, and more importantly to his investors,” Lourd said Thursday at the Bloomberg Screentime conference.
“The idea that he could hold himself up as morally superior to anyone, but specifically to the issues around women is odd,” Lourd said.
On Wednesday, Emanuel likened Lourd and another CAA executive to Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty of sex trafficking in 2021 and had longstanding ties to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The chairman of Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., a Hollywood agency and media company, Emanuel made his remarks at the opening of the Screentime conference.
CAA, along with the disgraced producer Weinstein and Walt Disney Co., was sued earlier this month by British actress Julia Ormond, who alleges Lourd and other CAA executives failed to take action to protect their client.
Emanuel said CAA should appoint an outside counsel to investigate the matter and that its executives should take a leave of absence for the duration of the investigation.
“An investigator should come in and they should look at what they did,” Emanuel said. He said CAA clients including Margot Robbie and Meryl Streep should question Lourd’s leadership.
Lourd said the allegations against him and CAA are false and “we will address those accusations in court.” He questioned Emanuel’s credibility on the subject.
“It’s ironic that the companies he’s led his group into and the men he’s partnered with and defends, maybe they’re his advisers on women’s issues,” Lourd said.
Lourd was likely referring to the Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Wrestling Entertainment, two companies that Emanuel now controls that have had issues with their executives and their treatment of women.
Ormond said Weinstein, now in prison, assaulted her in 1995. She said her agents at CAA advised her to meet with Weinstein privately, knowing there was a risk of her being sexually harassed, later doubted her account and told her reporting the incident would damage her career.
Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison after a Manhattan state jury convicted him of rape and sexual assault in 2020.
Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of French luxury goods group Kering SA, acquired a majority stake in CAA last month.
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