Movies like “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” don’t come around all that often partly because of how projects are put together. Chances are the people brokering those deals — and determining who gets in the door and what stories are told — are white.
Pushes for greater diversity onscreen have been mirrored in some Hollywood corridors of power with varying degrees of effort and success. But the number of partners and department heads of color at talent agencies, those hypercompetitive firms where careers traditionally start in mailrooms or assistants’ pools, remains vanishingly low. Of the hundreds of film and television representatives working at the four powerhouses — Creative Artists Agency, ICM Partners, United Talent Agency and William Morris Endeavor — just a few dozen are black. (They’re also tracked by the website Diverse Representation.) “Unfortunately, you become used to being one of a few, if not the only one,” D.C. Wade of WME said.
Here, seven black agents — six with major agencies, one who runs her own boutique company — speak candidly about the barriers they have faced, the isolation they have felt, and the changes they are beginning to see.
BRANDON LAWRENCE (C.A.A.; agent since 2016; clients include the producers Misha Green, Mara Brock Akil and Will Packer) You have to subsidize a child who wants to work in entertainment. It takes a level of socioeconomic sufficiency that isn’t consistently typical for many families of color. Even mine. They weren’t able to bankroll me the entire time. I was in L.A. without a job, staying on my frat brothers’ couch. A lot of people of color in the assistants’ pools are first-generation college students. When they go back and tell their parents, “I don’t want to be a doctor or engineer, I want to push a mail cart,” the families are like, “What?”
ANDREA NELSON MEIGS (ICM; agent since 2000; clients include the performers Beyoncé Knowles, Ellen Burstyn and J. Cole) Not a lot of people of color know what being an agent is, who have aunts, uncles or cousins who are agents. Once you know about it, how do you get in? Once you get in, how do you keep them there? I’m from L.A., so I lived at home when I was in the mailroom. I was never making enough money to live on my own.
TIAUNA JACKSON (The Jackson Agency owner; agent since 2014; clients include the actors Sam T. West, Arthur Richardson and Lucy Boryer) A lot of times those people of color at top agencies are the cream of the crop — they went to Stanford, Princeton, elite schools. I think especially people of color had to come from those backgrounds to even get in. I went to Chapman University. It’s a good school, but it’s not Ivy League. I was never able to get into the mailroom programs at the top-tier places. I’m told I’m not the right fit, and we kind of know what that is code for. I’m self-taught. I have to fight every day just to make . I have sobering moments of truth when interns I trained are now at those top-tier agencies. Both of those people are Caucasian.
LORRIE BARTLETT (ICM; agent since 1993; clients include the stars Michael Keaton, Regina King and Lucy Liu) There was no beacon for me to follow. I had parents who could help, not a ton, but I lived at home a couple of years longer. I worked really hard. Maybe as women, as people of color, we have to go one step further — 10 steps, 15 steps further — just to show our worth.
NELSON MEIGS When I was coming up, most people of color were dual degree, having gone to business school or law school. I think there is just the perception of, “Wow, if they’ve accomplished all of that, they are likely capable of handling the job of being an agent.”
ASHLEY HOLLAND (WME; agent since 2013; clients include the director Boots Riley and the stars Halle Berry and Janelle Monáe) High-achieving people of color today, coming out of universities — tech, financial service, Fortune 500s, every industry is recruiting them aggressively. Agencies are not participating in that kind of ecosystem. Historically, agencies hired friends or family of people in the business, until there was an infrastructural shift to focus on diversity. I was the beneficiary of that.
D.C. WADE (WME; agent since 2015; clients include the performers Hannibal Buress, Whoopi Goldberg and Jimmy O. Yang) Had I never gone to film school I don’t know if I would have been exposed to this being a career path. As an educated person of color, you typically have overachieved and excelled, and sometimes it’s tough to tell that person to take a step back and answer phones and get coffee.Client Relationships
BARTLETT On more than one occasion, someone, when I meet them, goes,“Oh I didn’t realize you were black.” It’s like, “Um, O.K. What does a black person sound like?” That question is always met with silence and/or bewilderment.
JACKSON I’ve had an instance where an unknown black actress told me flat out that she wanted a white agent. She had no credits. But she knew that to succeed you needed to align yourself with someone white. That was her view. Look at the actors on TV and movie screens now. They tend to have agents who are white. And so because of that, it’s created programming where the only way you can find success is if you align yourself with someone white. This is pretty much what the business model and structure has been.
BARTLETT The reverse happens, too. I’ve had white clients who left white agents and came to me because they felt like it was a better fit.
LAWRENCE I personally make it a priority to represent talent of color, but I don’t necessarily only represent talent of color. I do lean in toward people who, like me, didn’t have the opportunities to be heard and have their voices expressed.
HOLLAND Sometimes people who aren’t like you want another option. I represent some straight white men who appreciate that I have a different perspective.
JACKSON I have Erick Avari, he’s in “The Mummy.” He works with us because he’s a man of color and wanted a team of color. He made a conscious decision to find somebody who would understand, and I commend him for that.Inside the Agency
J.B. FITZGERALD (U.T.A.; since 2016, point person for clients including the actors Tyron Woodley, Dhani Jones and Vernon Davis) I wouldn’t say I was surprised by the lack of diversity. I wasn’t expecting to walk in and to see all people looking like me. Frankly I wasn’t necessarily looking at it in that way.
LAWRENCE When I was working as a banker on Wall Street, I could look around and count how many black managing directors or directors there were on one hand. So I wasn’t fazed [at C.A.A.]. I was able to navigate and not feel self-conscious. I buried my head in the work.
HOLLAND As a young woman of color, when I come into work, I’m probably more preoccupied about it than my colleagues are. My boss happened to be a woman of color. For me that was completely transformative.
FITZGERALD In meetings or on calls, I still often am the only African-American in the room. In moments, where I wanted to express an opinion, I found myself struggling with an internal dialogue of “how will my opinion be received?” I can recall a couple instances where I missed my window to speak up, because I was taking too much time struggling with that internal dialogue.
LAWRENCE I’ve had an African-American male director ask me, “How did you survive a place like C.A.A.? Back in my day there was nobody like you there, especially as a black man.” It’s a lot of self-sacrifice for the greater cultural good.
WADE Unfortunately you become used to being one of a few if not the only one. When I got here there were a number of black assistants at the company, but what I quickly realized was no one would stay or no one wanted to pursue being an agent. In general, agencies can be training grounds for people to go to different parts of business.
HOLLAND There are hundreds of assistants starting a year. Very, very few will become agents regardless of gender or race. A lot of people come in, start at bottom, and very few will ever get promoted. People have to realize if they really want to see more people of color, you have to overinvest at the bottom and have lots of choices for the statistical odds to be on your side.
LAWRENCE With colleagues that are older, that came from a different era, you have to massage and make people understand the nuances that they may have missed. What people sometimes fail to realize is their kids are digesting material that I think years ago people deemed urban, whereas now it’s just culture. Drake is in every kid’s earphones.
FITZGERALD Most businesses are like this on a scale, even though a lot are trying to change. I think that’s what is so exciting about what’s been happening over the last few years.The Might of Mentoring
BARTLETT One of the things we’ve talked about is really trying to create a pipeline, a sort of mentorship program to help retain people as they’re moving up the ladder, whether they’re having financial challenges or saying, “Hey, I’m the only one, this is too isolating for me.” We only have 10 African-American agents here and that’s not enough.
NELSON MEIGS A lot of people come in and stay for a few years and then they’re gone. They don’t make it up the ranks because of financial reasons, and because there’s not the support. Real mentoring is not somebody saying, “I am your mentor.” It’s someone who is as invested in you and your success as they are their own, bringing you to meetings with executives and talent, someone who makes sure to tell you if what you’re doing is right or wrong and at the year-end review if you’re not up to snuff.
WADE I don’t think I had that. I had people I looked to, like Charles King [the first black man to make partner at WME, and now a producer]. Just him existing in the world meant it was possible for me to do that as well.
HOLLAND Charles King was a huge mentor for me when I was an assistant at C.A.A. and he was at William Morris. We’d have drinks, he’d give me advice. The same with Andrea [Nelson Meigs] and her husband. The Andrea Nelson Meigs and the Charles Kings of the world were representing black people when they weren’t popular, having to explain to people who Beyoncé and Tyler Perry were. I had informal mentorships like that with a lot of people.
LAWRENCE It’s a testament to the black community, their continued support. There were some very powerful people who would call my bosses and say, “Hey, why isn’t Brandon getting promoted?” I’m very thankful for the community support internally and externally. It props you up in so many ways.
HOLLAND I know all the black agents at C.A.A., ICM and U.T.A. We meet and encourage each other.
LAWRENCE C.A.A. didn’t typically recruit from [historically black colleges]. I asked why are we not going? Send me, don’t send someone who doesn’t look like me. Now C.A.A. sends me to HBCs, and we have alumni who are in the pipeline to getting promoted one day. There are luncheons with 65 black assistants at C.A.A., where we have executives of color. I didn’t have that coming up. That’s the impact that makes me stay here as long as I can.
HOLLAND When I step into a conference room, I’m aware that I’m 32, that I’m black and that I’m a woman — all [points] for potential discrimination. But today in 2019, it’s more of an asset to me than a deficit. At the end of the day I’m relating to clients and buyers on so many different levels. I’m speaking as an older millennial, a person of color, a graduate of a top university, all of these different ways for me to relate to other people.
WADE I’ve had different versions of the conversation where people say, “Are you going to be in the room? I want to make sure someone who looks like me is in the room.” I think we’ve come to a time where talent of color are finding their voice and understanding the potential importance or significance of having someone who looks like them on their team. In 2019 I think it would feel and look very strange to try to sign a woman and have a roomful of men. I think it’s equally important when you try to sign an artist of color and have a roomful of people that don’t necessarily share their experiences.
LAWRENCE I get to work with people like Will Packer, Misha Green, Jas Waters, Kenya Barris. These people who are creating dope content around the world. It’s life-changing for me, and my own outlook on my own life.
HOLLAND I feel very lucky that I came of age at the right place, right time. I feel very lucky that I represent artists who I think we should showcase. It’s something that’s trending. I think there’s never been a better time to be a black agent. The demand is higher than the supply.B:
本期必中_六给彩票香港【召】【麟】【有】【些】【生】【气】【又】【觉】【得】【这】【女】【人】【很】【有】【原】【则】，【他】【道】：“【都】【听】【你】【的】【安】【排】。“ 【很】【快】【召】【麟】【安】【排】【好】【了】【婚】【宴】，【多】【尔】【泰】【作】【为】【兰】【香】【的】【主】【子】【坐】【了】【上】【席】，【召】【麟】【举】【杯】【道】：“【多】【大】【人】【今】【天】【喜】【庆】【的】【日】【子】，【您】【可】【得】【多】【喝】【几】【杯】。“ “【嗯】，【我】【一】【定】【多】【喝】【几】【杯】。“【多】【尔】【泰】【答】【道】。 【贺】【成】【低】【着】【头】【一】【直】【喝】【着】【酒】，【他】【教】【兰】【香】【习】【武】【那】【些】【天】【与】【她】【有】【了】【些】【情】【愫】，【贺】【成】【抓】
【这】【本】【书】【用】【了】【十】【个】【月】【左】【右】【的】【时】【间】，【终】【于】【完】【结】【了】。 【没】【有】【不】【舍】，【只】【有】【遗】【憾】。 【开】【局】【很】【好】【的】【一】【本】【书】，【哪】【怕】【前】【面】【有】【许】【多】【人】【说】【节】【奏】【慢】，【以】【及】【提】【出】【种】【种】【问】【题】，【但】【是】【上】【架】【初】【的】【收】【订】【比】，【都】【证】【明】【这】【是】【一】【本】【还】【算】【成】【功】【的】【书】。 【到】【现】【在】，【这】【本】【书】【的】【高】【订】【已】【经】【破】【万】。 【只】【是】【上】【架】【之】【后】，【大】【胖】【确】【实】【没】【有】【把】【握】【好】【节】【奏】，【导】【致】【订】【阅】【越】【来】【越】【少】。
【黎】【欣】【只】【在】【医】【院】【住】【了】【一】【周】，【就】【出】【院】【了】。 【盛】【世】【长】【安】【在】【播】，【她】【的】【关】【注】【度】【变】【得】【很】【高】，【这】【次】【住】【院】【和】【出】【院】，【都】【是】【保】【密】【的】，【没】【让】【媒】【体】【和】【粉】【丝】【知】【道】，【所】【以】【就】【连】【出】【院】，【也】【是】【晚】【上】【才】【离】【开】。 【保】【姆】【车】【就】【停】【在】【住】【院】【部】【的】【楼】【下】，【她】【腿】【伤】【不】【方】【便】，【拄】【着】【一】【条】【拐】【杖】，【得】【让】【人】【扶】【着】【才】【能】【下】【楼】。 【电】【梯】【门】【缓】【缓】【关】【上】，【还】【没】【有】【完】【全】【合】【上】【的】【门】【缝】【里】，【黎】【欣】本期必中_六给彩票香港【又】【是】【一】【个】【早】【上】。 【不】【想】【起】…… 【被】【提】【拉】【传】【染】【了】。 【夏】【尔】【里】【克】【摸】【索】【着】，【找】【到】【了】【计】【时】【器】，【银】【白】【色】【的】【几】【行】【数】【字】【和】【参】【数】【表】【示】【现】【在】【仅】【仅】【是】【半】【夜】【四】【点】【钟】。 【所】【以】【为】【什】【么】【我】【会】【醒】【来】【呢】？ 【夏】【尔】【里】【克】【刚】【准】【备】【起】【来】【探】【查】【一】【下】，【结】【果】【就】【发】【现】【自】【己】【的】【一】【只】【手】【被】【西】【提】【尔】【拉】【住】【了】，【可】【以】【说】【是】【以】【环】【箍】【的】【方】【式】【直】【接】【铐】【上】【了】。 【不】【能】【起】【啊】……
【刘】【老】【鬼】【散】【发】【的】【气】【势】【压】【迫】，【一】【重】【高】【过】【一】【重】，【是】【想】【要】【兵】【不】【血】【刃】，【轻】【松】【拿】【下】【叶】【唐】。 【但】【对】【面】【那】【小】【子】，【似】【乎】【也】【只】【是】【略】【感】【压】【力】【而】【已】，【直】【过】【去】【了】【半】【晌】，【依】【然】【还】【坚】【挺】【不】【已】，【双】【拳】【紧】【握】【负】【于】【身】【后】，【没】【有】【动】【弹】【分】【毫】。 “【咳】，【我】【要】【不】【要】【出】” “【不】【用】！” 【另】【一】【名】【执】【事】【刚】【要】【开】【口】【询】【问】，【一】【同】【出】【手】，【但】【李】【老】【鬼】【想】【都】【没】【想】，
【一】【天】【之】【后】，【安】【格】【尔】【刚】【刚】【送】【走】【布】【隆】·【贾】【格】【尔】【派】【来】【的】【特】【使】【一】【行】【人】，【正】【准】【备】【回】【自】【己】【的】【卧】【室】【美】【美】【地】【补】【一】【个】【回】【笼】【觉】【的】【时】【候】。【从】【不】【远】【的】【地】【方】，【一】【个】【传】【信】【兵】【急】【匆】【匆】【地】【朝】【自】【己】【这】【边】【赶】【了】【过】【来】。 “【安】【格】【尔】【大】【人】，【不】【好】【了】，【这】【是】【从】【文】【森】【岛】【传】【来】【的】【紧】【急】【传】【信】！” 【看】【到】【这】【个】【浑】【身】【冒】【汗】【的】【传】【信】【兵】，【虽】【然】【此】【时】【的】【安】【格】【尔】【非】【常】【感】【激】【他】【的】【尽】【职】【尽】【责】。