How Agents Ride Out a Recession

Jeremy Zimmer
UTA C.E.O. Jeremy Zimmer. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/Chrysalis
Matthew Belloni
December 18, 2022

It’s been a wild year at the talent agencies, with CAA and ICM Partners merging, WME installing new leaders, and UTA selling a big chunk to a Swedish private equity firm. All while the ground shook under the talent community as the streamers that have fueled the Hollywood economy re-assessed their spending amid a market turn. UTA C.E.O. Jeremy Zimmer jumped on a Zoom with me Thursday to break it all down. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

Matt Belloni: UTA represents Ellen Rapoport, the creator of Minx. HBO Max renewed the show and then this past week un-renewed it amid all the Warner Bros. Discovery cost-cutting, even though it’s almost finished shooting its second season. As the head of her agency, how do you respond to that? 

Jeremy Zimmer: You respond by saying this kind of action creates a level of distrust within the creative and representation community. Having these relationships, building a brand, connecting to an audience—all of the things that go into the decision of making a show seem to be thrown out the window for the expediency of a tax write-off, and that’s really unfortunate. It takes years to build the trust of artists, the brand of Warner Bros., and it doesn’t take long to destroy that.