A3 Lays Off Assistants As Agencies Brace For New Round Of Cost Cutting Amid Two Hollywood Strikes

EXCLUSIVE: A3 on Friday laid off 10 people, seven assistants and three coordinators. It is the first major round of layoffs in the Hollywood representation business since the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike but won’t be the last. With Hollywood production grinding to a halt as actors joined writers in walking out after talks with studios fell through, talent agencies and management companies are mulling new staff cuts, especially those companies that rely heavily on film and scripted TV revenue.

Agencies went into cost-cutting mode soon after the WGA strike started May 2. Lit-focused Verve laid off agents and support staff. APA laid off some assistants, and virtually all agencies scaled back T&E and other expenses, with some restricting non-essential travel and other spending. Some implemented temporary salary cuts for their senior agents.

Related Stories


WGA West Officer & Board Candidates Address Wide Range Of Issues – And The Strike Isn't The Only Thing On Their Minds


SAG-AFTRA's Duncan Crabtree-Ireland Rebuts AMPTP Claims About Its Last Offer Before Actors Strike

A3 did some of that, including reducing expenses, suspending the company’s 401K match, and, while there was no mandate, top agents and executives took a voluntary salary cut, said company chairman Adam Bold who bought Abrams Artists Agency in September 2018 before rebranding it.

Since then, he has steered A3 through a WGA-agency standoff, a global pandemic and now a double Hollywood strike.

“It’s heartbreaking. I spent five years building this incredible group of people,” Bold told Deadline on Thursday. “I know I’m going to have to let people go not because of their fault or my fault or anything but because no revenue is coming in, and there is no end in sight. Thus far I have funded all the payroll out of my checking out. I can’t do it in perpetuity.”

When Bold spoke with Deadline on Thursday, he said that he and his management team were still contemplating what to do next and admitted that they were facing “gut-wrenching” choices.

“Ultimately, I have to do what gives the company the greatest sustainability and sometimes, by letting some people go, it allows you to keep the others.”

Bold was hopeful that the staff departures won’t be permanent.

“I hope whatever we do, if we treat people well and with respect, when things get back to normal, they will come back,” he said. “But what I do know is that we cannot sustain the entire company on the revenues as they are right today — with the strike and nothing being made — forever. I’m hoping that by cutting overhead — we will be having to let some people go — by doing that, it will allow us to keep other people for longer.”

Similar moves are being contemplated by other agencies in a situation similar to the Covid-related production shutdown that led to a string of furlough and layoffs at the Hollywood representation firms. There has been a flurry of rumors over the past week, which have not been substantiated, and three assistants were let go at Range Media Partners, with sources insisting that the cut was not strike-related.

With the sides in the current labor dispute remaining far apart and locked in a public dispute over the failure of their negotiations, a resolution is unlikely in the near future, which will prompt more difficult agency decisions in the coming weeks.

Must Read Stories

Glams Up Summer With $150M+ Opening, ‘Oppenheimer’ Eyes $75M+; Records Falling

Photo Gallery, Obit & Tributes For Legendary Singer Who Delighted Generations

A3 Lays Off Assistants As Agencies Brace For New Round Of Cost Cutting Amid Strikes

Photo Gallery; Kevin Smith Talks Strike; ‘Ninja Turtles’ & ‘Saw X’ Footage; More

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article