CAA will pursue legal action against UTA, as at least four additional agents are expected to defect across town, though the number could be as high as six, an individual with knowledge of the situation has told TheWrap.
Insiders tell TheWrap that CAA has cause to pursue legal action because some of the agents who left to become partners at UTA remain under contract. UTA had no comment regarding potential legal action.
As for the six additional agents who are rumored to be leaving CAA for UTA, TheWrap has learned of five notable dealmakers, though at least one is expected to remain at CAA.
CAA comedy agents Susie Fox and Rachel Rusch are expected to leave for UTA, multiple sources tell TheWrap, while Chelsea McKinnies is also poised to exit the agency. McKinnies is on the team that represents Anna Faris, wife of Chris Pratt, who agreed to follow his longtime agents Jason Heyman and Martin Lesak to UTA earlier Tuesday.
Younger CAA agents Ryan Abboushi and Matt Blake are also expected to join UTA, while John Sacks, who is relatively new to the agency, has also been rumored to be making the move, though not as loudly as his peers. Sources cautioned that none of the exits are confirmed yet, and as of right now, Fox, Rusch, McKinnies, Sacks, Abboushi and Blake are all CAA employees.
If all of those agents do end up leaving, CAA’s comedy department would be left decimated, as its clients include Donald Glover, Patton Oswalt, Cedric the Entertainer, Reggie Watts, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Ken Jeong, Kumail Nanjiani and “Saturday Night Live” stars Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney.
Chelsea Handler’s manager Irving Azoff told TheWrap she will be staying at CAA as she fired agent Nick Nuciforo last year. Her current agents are Kevin Huvane and Jeffrey Azoff.
The CAA-UTA situation is extremely volatile at the moment as agents burn through their Rolodexes, so it remains to be seen what the situation will look like once the dust has settled.