ICM Partners said Monday that it has named Lorrie Bartlett to its board of directors, which the agency said makes her the first African American board member of a major Hollywood talent agency.
Bartlett, 55, is already a partner at ICM and co-head of the agency’s talent department. She represents actress Regina King, who recently won a Golden Globe award for her performance in “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
Her other clients include Michael Keaton, Ruth Negga, Rodrigo Santoro and Lucy Liu. She has also represented transgender actress Laverne Cox since the beginning of the “Orange Is the New Black” performer’s career.
Bartlett is the fourth woman on ICM’s 11-member board, joining Esther Newberg, Jennifer Joel and Janet Carol Norton. She was named co-head of ICM’s talent department in 2011 and became partner after the agency’s management buyout the following year.
ICM is privately held and owned by its partner agents. The Century City agency said in 2017 that it was aiming for more gender parity in its leadership by 2020, with a goal for women to account for half of the agency's board, partnership and department heads. Despite improvements, talent agencies, unions and major Hollywood studios have been under pressure to promote more diversity in their ranks.
Of the 112 directors who helmed the top 100 movies of 2018, a mere 3.6% were women, according to a recent study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.
“Our agency should reflect the way the world looks. To have a diversity of perspectives can only enhance the way you go about doing business,” Bartlett said in an interview.
“I think that's a huge bonus when you're not looking at the world just through one set of eyeglasses.”
A Southern California native, Bartlett grew up in Monrovia, in the San Gabriel Valley, where her father, Bob Bartlett, served as mayor. She later attended Occidental College.
“I kept moving west,” said Bartlett, who now resides in Laurel Canyon.
Before joining ICM in 2008, Bartlett worked at the Gersh Agency. Outside her job, she serves as a founding executive board member of the Time’s Up movement, which was founded last year in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandals.
“In the community, she has real respect of her peers,” Chris Silbermann, ICM’s managing director, said in a separate interview.
“When someone distinguishes themselves, it’s pretty obvious…. She’s the full package. Personally, I’m immensely proud of her. We’ve spent a lot of time talking, and I’ve spent a lot of time listening to her.”
Silbermann said that ICM is about halfway to its goal of gender parity among department heads.