Prominent ICM partner Steve Alexander departs agency after L.A. Times investigation
ICM Partners confirmed Thursday that prominent agent and partner Steve Alexander has left the Century City talent agency.
Alexander’s departure comes less than three months after allegations about his behavior were raised in a Los Angeles Times investigation. The investigation highlighted numerous allegations of harassment and other misconduct against women by several male agents and executives, including Alexander.
An ICM representative declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding Alexander’s exit.
The company, including three female ICM board members, acknowledged that it was part of a “challenging, competitive and labor-intensive industry,” but denied that it fostered a hostile work environment.
In a May statement, ICM said it “does not tolerate harassment, bullying or other inappropriate conduct. HR investigates all reports received and addresses each with appropriate disciplinary measures.”
A person familiar with the matter said that Alexander was planning to launch his own management firm. Alexander did not immediately return a request for comment.
Alexander represented clients including Tatiana Maslany and John Travolta and had been with ICM since 2014. He previously worked at the short-lived firm Resolution, and before that, was a high-profile agent at CAA.
Current and former employees of ICM Partners allege that the talent agency tolerated harassment and misconduct toward women and people of color.
Alexander honed a reputation as a hard-charging agent who fights for his clients.
But The Times article described inappropriate behavior by Alexander and other high-level executives at the agency. A film finance executive alleged that Alexander had exposed himself to her inside a car, according to three people with knowledge of the matter who declined to be named.
In spring 2016, the executive met Alexander for business drinks at the Peninsula Beverly Hills and was driving Alexander to his car when he unzipped his pants and started touching himself in his genital area, according to one of the people with knowledge of the incident.
The executive later told a female senior leader at ICM about the incident and Alexander was put on leave, according to the three sources. A source close to the company said it conducted an investigation and took appropriate actions, which they did not specify. Alexander denied the allegations.
The female film finance executive declined to comment. The Times does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault without their consent.
Another alleged incident happened in August 2019, when Alexander sent a flirtatious direct message to a former ICM assistant, not his own, who had quit the agency months earlier after clashing with her boss, according to two people with knowledge of the exchange. The message on Instagram, which included a “fire” emoji, was in response to a selfie posted by the young woman that accentuated her cleavage.
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Several other ICM agents also have been accused of inappropriate behavior by women who brought complaints to human resources or the agency’s senior leaders. Since 2017, nearly a dozen women reported allegations of mistreatment by male agents and managers companywide, according to interviews with the women and those with direct knowledge of the incidents.
When The Times reported on the issue in May, the company said its human resources department did not have records of the complaints, although a source close to the company acknowledged that it did investigate some of the complaints and took appropriate actions.
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After The Times article was published, Time’s Up, an organization that was formed to raise awareness about sexual harassment and gender-based workplace discrimination, called for ICM to take “every step to fully investigate these allegations in a fair, safe and productive manner.”
“Allegations of inappropriate behavior in any workplace are deeply troubling and should be addressed immediately,” Time’s Up said in a statement in May.
Since then, ICM has made changes, including setting up hotlines for employees or talent to report misconduct, according to two people familiar with the matter.
But some critics have said the agency’s reforms do not go far enough, and that more of ICM’s talent roster should publicly demand changes.
“They should stand up and say something and embrace those who have been ostracized through no fault of their own by this behavior and by these men,” said director-producer-actor-photographer Anna Wilding, a former ICM client.
“It’s all part of Hollywood’s day of reckoning, whether it’s diversity or sexual harassment,” Wilding said. “Everyone should feel confident about not letting it happen, about stopping it happening and speaking out and supporting those who have been through it.”
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