The pandemic is hitting everyone hard, not least of all the music industry. In an industry reliant on live events, the lack thereof has stunted a booming industry and put tens of thousands out of work. And while the artists and managers might be able to survive on syncs, royalties, and actual music (however little that may be), the agents are a different story.
Without live events, the role of an agent has been excised entirely. Many agencies have been cutting employees in order to live to see another day, including Paradigm and UTA. Now, CAA, which represents 3LAU, Daft Punk, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, G Jones, Gesaffelstein, Oliver Heldens, RÜFÜS DU SOL, and more, is letting many go to survive another year.
In a report by Deadline, the Los Angeles-based agency managed to make it this long without any sort of major cut to staff (though salaries were heavily reduced earlier this year), but with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its duration still looming, the decision was finally made. “Those furloughed are primarily assistants, receptionists, mailroom and others whose roles are needed only when the agency is operating from headquarters,” Deadline reports. The agency left its Century City space in mid-March.
Agents and executives were also included in the purge. CAA released the following statement:
“CAA began working remotely earlier this year due to the pandemic. Everyone at the company participated in reducing compensation with the hope that we could keep all employees financially whole through the end of our fiscal year, September 30th, 2020.
We are honoring that commitment, including for those impacted by today’s announcement.
But, with greater visibility into the COVID-19 challenges of fiscal year 2021, we have made the difficult decision to implement workforce reductions, in addition to our ongoing cost-saving measures.
Effective this week, approximately 90 agents and executives from departments across the agency will be leaving. In addition, we are furloughing approximately 275 assistants and other staff. The company will continue to fully pay the health plan premiums for those being furloughed.
This is a painful and unprecedented moment, and words are insufficient. Today, we simply say that we extend our sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude to our departing colleagues.”