United Talent Agency will furlough staffers in light of ongoing complications from the coronavirus pandemic, numerous sources told Variety.
Agency leadership addressed staff in an all-hands meeting on Monday. The exact number is unknown, but the significant furloughs are believed to largely affect assistant-level employees, said one source. A return date was not made immediately clear.
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A source added that all furloughed colleagues will keep their insurance and the agency will cover all premiums during the time they are furloughed.
UTA was the first agency to blink at the start of the pandemic in March, cutting salaries across the company. Every major Hollywood dealmaking firm has been affected by the virus, enacting layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions in the ranks.
Endeavor, the parent company of WME, has been hardest hit, laying off roughly 250 staffers across its entire portfolio with more expected in the coming weeks. CAA cut salaries wide, on a progressive basis affecting the highest-paid. ICM Partners laid off support staff. Paradigm also laid off 200 people across divisions.
Read a memo from UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer, addressing the furloughs, below.
Today is one of our most difficult days in the near 30-year history of UTA. I am terribly sorry for all of our colleagues being furloughed.
This is a rough time in the world and work can be an important tether that keeps us connected. All this is made more difficult by our distance and the fact that we cannot be together physically to provide comfort and friendship as many of our colleagues make this transition.
We had hoped the salary reductions we all took would be sufficient, but at this point we must take this additional step to ensure the ongoing financial stability of UTA. Although we are not the first company to do this, and will not be the last, it is still extraordinarily difficult because we work so hard to protect and nurture our culture at UTA.
For those impacted, you are not alone in this. UTA will continue to provide your health benefits, including covering your premiums, along with other resources, information and ongoing support. Beyond that, we will work hard to keep you connected to UTA, including access to internal programs and communicating with you as much as possible during the furlough period. Our hope is that we will be back to a new normal soon, and that it will include opportunities for all of you to return. Until then, you are in our thoughts and hearts.
I have so much pride in our company, our colleagues and our culture. Someday soon, UTA will again be brimming with laughter, smiles, and energy.
Until then, let’s stay strong and support each other.
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