Paradigm Layoffs Hit Senior Agents in Movie, TV and Music Departments

More than 100 staffers among 600 employees were temporarily let go on Friday

Last Updated: March 25, 2020 @ 10:39 AM

The temporary layoffs that were announced at the Paradigm Talent Agency on Friday have hit senior agents within the movie, TV literature and music departments of the organization, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.

More than 100 of at least 600 employees at the agency were hit by the layoffs as TheWrap reported last week, and those who remained saw a reduction in payroll, all due to the cancellations and shutdowns caused by the pandemic. However, in a statement to TheWrap, a spokesperson said that the agency is working on bringing back people as quickly as possible and, in some cases, have already begun to do so. The news was announced agency-wide by CEO Sam Gores on Friday.

“The COVID-19 crisis has brought much of the entertainment industry to a virtual standstill, and Paradigm, like many companies, has had to take immediate steps to ensure continuity of our operations. Last week, we made the extraordinarily difficult decision to temporarily lay off many colleagues and to enact salary cuts across the company. It is our hope and plan to bring these colleagues back as quickly as possible, and today, we have already begun to do so. While it is impossible to know the depth and duration of this crisis, we remain proud of the determination and resilience of our Paradigm team to weather the storm and do our job representing artists,” a Paradigm spokesperson told TheWrap on Wednesday.

Among some of the names who were laid off include senior agents in the music department such as Dave Kaplan with The Black Keys and Mike Mori, who represents The 1975.

Kate Byrne, a staffer who has worked in the music department in various roles and has been in the industry for the last eight years, said on Twitter that she lost her job on Friday along with many of her “extremely hard-working, qualified, and talented friends,” she added in another tweet.

Also let go were those within the TV literature department, a move that came just before Paradigm agreed to sign a 5-year deal with the Writers Guild. Some of the more senior names include Debbee Klein, who packaged shows like “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish.” Adam Kanter was let go from the movie literature department, and he’s represented Bobby Farrelly and Amy Heckerling, among others.

Paradigm isn’t the only agency hurting. United Talent Agency on Monday issued company-wide salary cuts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a UTA spokesperson confirmed to TheWrap.

Variety first reported the news of the specific layoffs.

Umberto Gonzalez contributed to this report.

For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that UTA had laid off staffers.

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