AwesomenessTV toppers Brian Robbins and Brett Bouttier have just sent out a memo to their staff saying the company will close its offices early on February 24 so employees can join the pro-refugee rally that UTA will hold that afternoon. The agency announced the United Voices event this week, which it will hold in lieu of its traditional Oscar party.
The rally announcement came in response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban against seven mostly Muslim-majority countries that has been halted temporarily by the courts, a decision upheld yesterday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The topic has dominated the national conversation (and Hollywood’s) since Trump signed his Executive Order last month.
Among UTA’s clients is Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose latest film The Salesman is up for the Foreign Language Film Oscar. He will not attend the February 26 Academy Awards in protest of the ban.
Here’s Robbins and Bouttier’s memo to staff this morning:
As many of you read earlier this week, the talent agency UTA will be closing their offices early on Friday, February 24th to host “United Voices,” a rally that aims to “express the creative community’s growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.” They have canceled their annual Oscar party and instead will be donating to the ACLU and IRC.
In today’s political climate, civil rights are being compromised and our creators and global audiences are facing obstacles as they pursue their dreams. We understand the power of our collective influence and know that together we can create change.
We support UTA organizing this important event, and we want to offer you the same opportunity to join this peaceful protest. We invite you to use your voice, activate your social media, and contribute to the conversation. On Friday, February 24th, we will be closing our offices early so you can participate on your own terms, in your own way. We will be organizing transportation to make it easy. More details to come shortly.
In addition, we will be making a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union and International Rescue Committee.
Brian and Brett