EXCLUSIVE: It came as a shock on Monday when Adam Berkowitz, a CAA veteran and one of the top TV lit agents in town, abruptly exited the agency after more than two decades. As Deadline reported yesterday, the dismissal came after an internal CAA investigation following an alleged incident at the Emmys’ Governors Ball.
I have since learned that the alleged incident was between Berkowitz and Ben Stephenson, Head of Television for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. According to multiple sources, it involved Berkowitz grabbing Stephenson’s crotch.
The alleged encounter happened right after the end of the September 17 Primetime Emmy ceremony as most attendees stop by the adjacent Governors Ball before dispersing to the various network after-parties around town. (Bad Robot’s HBO series Westworld was a multiple nominee, including for best drama series, and won for supporting actress, Thandie Newton; Stephenson shared in the series’ best series nomination.) Berkowitz was seen attending at least one network bash with a group of CAA agents later Monday night.
I hear that Bad Robot, one of CAA’s top clients, took the alleged incident to the agency’s toppers, triggering the investigation and Berkowitz’s exit.
“Bad Robot has a policy to respect the confidentiality of all of our employees and therefore will do everything within our power to ensure their safety and protect their privacy,” the company said in a statement to Deadline, declining further comment. CAA and a rep for Berkowitz had no comment.
The alleged incident is eerily similar to the one involving actor Terry Crews and ex-WME agent Adam Venit. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star came forward last fall with the claim Venit had grabbed his genitals at a party in February 2016 when Crews was a WME client and Venit was head of the agency’s Motion Picture Group.
For CAA, the incident draws parallels to Emmy weekend last year, when Ryan Ly, then the agency’s head of TV literary, allegedly groped a female staffer in front of other CAA agents at the Governors Ball, one of multiple alleged sexual harassment offenses against female subordinates at parties that weekend that triggering an internal probe and Ly’s dismissal several days later.
Bad Robot continues to be a CAA client. The company’s growing TV slate includes such series as Westworld, Castle Rock and the upcoming Lovecraft Country and Demimonde.