Mali Perl can be read at Industry Nexus.
FROM: Ari Emanuel
TO: All @ WME
If you’re reading this at your desk, congratulations on being part of the new world order. It’s been a difficult few months for all of us as we’ve navigated the shifting economic landscape while creating a new agency. I say all of us in the spirit of inclusion but obviously, this was more an issue for you than for me.
I don’t want to get all Ovitz Art of War on you but we’ve been waging this war for survival. Look around at the empty desks and offices. Let’s take a moment from rolling calls, gossiping about and yelling at each other to think of our fallen comrades who are now managers, agents and assistants at lesser agencies. They may walk through the Valley in the shadow of Target but they fear no evil because they no longer have to shoulder the burden of outrageous success. That is left to us and given that we are setting the tone for how this town conducts itself going forward, I wanted to review basic ground rules for working at WME. Endeavor team members are living embodiments of these guidelines but for WMA colleagues, there may be many surprises in the days ahead.
1. Tough love is our motto, with an emphasis on the tough. I know that some of you are still mourning Tom Strickler’s departure as evidenced by tying your hipster scarves around your left arms. I have been lenient during this turbulent time in an effort to approximate compassion. It’s time to get up from sitting shiva and get back to work. If you’d like to continue sobbing and tearing at your clothes, might I suggest the local unemployment office?
2. An extension of the above sentiment is our new WME Boot Camp. I am excited to announce that Jackie Warner and co. are on board for twice a week workouts alternating with krav maga. I understand that many of you have “stress management issues” and require daily yoga, pilates and massages in order to beat back the daily tides. I do not want you to learn how to Zen out. I want hungry, aggressive teams that roam L.A. like feral animals, hunting for their next meal. Boot Camp is mandatory for all except those who have already completed the Navy Seal certification offered at Endeavor last year. There will be a final exam and just a heads up but it will require stealth extraction of an A-lister from a rival agent.
3. Are you angry/upset/disgusted/disappointed/sad about the changes that have occurred? I don’t care. Note that there is no suggestion box near the executive suite. There is a reason for that. If I’m at lunch, in the men’s room, driving my kids or in the elevator with you, I do not want to hear your thoughts about the merger. Your feelings/ideas/thoughts do not interest me and any attempt to share will be construed as a verbal letter of resignation.
4. Crying is not permitted. Making people cry is. Check with HR should you have any questions.
This has been a trying time for all of us but we’ve emerged on the other side, invigorated with the opportunities that lie ahead (poaching) and strengthened by (bloodlust and new packages) our new partners and team members. Straighten your skirts ladies and welcome to your future at WME.
Mali Perl can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org. Safety is just a phone call away at 1-866-CALL-CAA.