At least 10 former employees of a top Hollywood agency accused the company of having black assistants pose as “agent-trainees,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Talent agency ICM Partners allegedly used the black assistants for a video filmed during 2019’s Black History Month because there weren’t enough people of color in the company to portray diversity, according to an article published Wednesday by the outlet.
ICM faced a backlash over an HR video intended to feature its agent-trainee program during 2019’s Black History Month.
Black assistants were asked to pose as agent-trainees because there were so few people of color in the program, said 10 former employees https://t.co/SzvtxZ50Ei
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 5, 2021
Jabari McDonald, a former Media Rights Assistant, told the outlet he was asked to fill a spot in a video the company was filming, the Los Angeles Times reported. (RELATED: Golden Globes To Add 13 Black Members After It Came To Light There Were None On Voting Committee)
McDonald said he thought he’d be sitting in the back of the shot to make the room feel more full, but was actually asked to sit next to a group of white “agent-trainees,” according to the outlet. HR eventually apologized to McDonald after multiple staffers complained about the incident.
“It was poor judgment,” ICM reportedly said. “It was quickly corrected.”
“You wouldn’t have to use black assistants as props if there were enough black people here that could naturally be here in this program,” McDonald said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The situation could have been mitigated if they pay people more and they stopped giving priority to nepotism hires.”
“It’s a lot of talk and very little action,” McDonald told the outlet. “They’re putting on the performance that they are putting in the work, and behind the scenes they are not.”