“We all know Ari Emanuel to be an incredibly performative, erratic, and in my mind, always self-serving [person].”
This was CAA cochairman Bryan Lourd wasting little time responding to comments made by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel concerning Lourd’s agency being named alongside imprisoned former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and the Walt Disney Company in a civil suit filed by actress Julia Ormond. Her suit includes allegations of sexual harassment, battery and retaliation. Lourd responded in the opening moments of his panel while speaking at the Bloomberg Screentime conference in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“The idea that he, in any way, could say that he could hold himself out as morally superior to anyone, but specifically around the issues that are so challenging for women, is odd,” Lourd said. “It’s ironic that the companies that he’s led his group into and the men that he’s partnered with … [are] his advisers on women’s issues. These are very serious issues.”
Endeavor’s Emanuel had stated on Wednesday that rival CAA agency bosses Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane should step aside in light of Julia Ormond’s lawsuit against Weinstein, Disney and their own agency. The comments were also made during the Bloomberg Screentime conference, during which Emanuel stated, “They should take a leave of absence. And investigators should come in and they should look at what they did. They didn’t apologize. They didn’t deny it.”
Emanuel is a longtime rival of CAA — which was purchased by Gucci owner the Artemis Group in September — and he has a reputation for disrespecting his industry competitors. He usually speaks such thoughts in private, making this public criticism against his industry rivals even more shocking.
“You’re sitting in a situation that Kevin and Bryan are to Harvey Weinstein like Ghislaine Maxwell was to Jeffrey Epstein,” he stated as part of a lengthy and unflinching statement. “They were leading them in to this man,” Emanuel continued. “So what should happen with them is the following, and then we’ll talk about the business. As any public or private company — and they are owned by Kering now, which is a huge luxury brand for women. If you bring an outside person to investigate it… they should take a leave of absence. This is the seventh time it’s been brought up about that agency.” (Kering is another brand controlled by Artemis.)
Ormond filed her suit on Oct. 4 and alleged that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1995. She also accused the Walt Disney Company — which owned Miramax from 1993 to 2010 — and CAA of knowing about the assault. The complaint listed them as codefendants in complicity. The suit states in part that “sexual assault on Ormond could have been prevented if Miramax or Disney had properly supervised Weinstein and not retained him while knowing that he was a danger to the women he encountered at work.”
Ormond claimed that she wanted to pursue legal action against Weinstein at the time and was cautioned against doing so by CAA — which the agency has vigorously denied. Her suit does not name Lourd and Huvane as defendants, but the pair were working as her agents at the time and are mentioned multiple times in the filing.
In response to Emanuel’s criticism, Lourd stated that the issues are “not meant for any kind of hypocritical sound bites, so you’re not going to get any from me.” He then stated, “We were falsely accused of something that we did not do. And we’re going to address those accusations in court.”