Creative Artists Agency Brings Former Agents to Arbitration
Claiming that three defecting agents breached their contracts when they left the agency to join a rival agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) – one of the most famous and well-known agencies in Hollywood, representing some of the most famous and well-paid celebrities and power players in Hollywood – has filed for arbitration against all three.
The agents, Jason Heyman, Martin Lesak and Nick Nuciforo have resigned from CAA to join rival agency UTA. However, CAA claims they were under contract and not free to resign. CAA further claims that those contracts contained arbitration agreements, compelling each to participate in the process. UTA had no comment on any aspect of the situation. Eight other agents who left CAA for UTA at the same time did not have arbitration agreements, and have instead been sued.
The departing agents represented stars such as Chris Pratt, Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell and were a big story in Hollywood, as CAA has a long-standing reputation as the premier agency, and one that agents never leave once they have achieved the goal of working there. Many see the aggressive response of lawsuits and arbitrations as a result of the bad publicity the agency has received as a result of the sudden departures, which have tarnished the agency’s public image.
CAA has been owned by an investment firm for the last several years and aggressive expansion into new fields have left many old-school agents there unhappy, leading to the mass defections.