|Born||Ariel Zev Emanuel
March 29, 1961
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Occupation||Co-CEO, William Morris Endeavor
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Hardwick Addington (3 children)|
Ariel Zev "Ari" Emanuel (born March 29, 1961) is an American talent agent and co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor (WME), an entertainment and media agency. He was a founding partner of the Endeavor Agency and was instrumental in shaping its June 2009 merger with the William Morris Agency.
Born in Chicago, Emanuel was raised in suburban Wilmette, Illinois. Emanuel is the brother of former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, National Institutes of Health bioethicist Ezekiel J. Emanuel, and adopted sister Shoshana Emanuel. His father, Jerusalem-born Dr. Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a pediatrician who was active in the Irgun, a hardline group that fought for Israeli independence until 1948 and was branded as a terrorist organization by the British colonial authorities. His mother, Marsha Emanuel (née Smulevitz), was a civil rights activist, and the one-time owner of a Chicago-area rock and roll club. As a child, Ari was diagnosed as both hyperactive and dyslexic, and his mother spent many hours helping him to learn to read. He is a graduate of New Trier West High School and of Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota, where he was roommates with director Peter Berg.
Prior to founding Endeavor, Emanuel was a partner at InterTalent and senior agent at International Creative Management (ICM). He began his entertainment industry career as an agent trainee at Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Emanuel has been described as a "21st century Hollywood mogul" and “the pre-eminent power player” in Hollywood. Emanuel and WME co-CEO Patrick Whitesell have been characterized as "rewriting the Hollywood script", and they have both been named to Fortune's Businessperson of the Year list. In a May 2013 article on Emanuel, Fortune called him "one of the biggest guns in the consolidating entertainment business".
Emanuel's relationships with his clients, coupled with his stature in the industry, has led to various homages and parodies over the years, including Bob Odenkirk’s character Stevie Grant on The Larry Sanders Show, and Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven on the HBO television show Entourage.
Emanuel gained widespread media attention in July 2006 when he called on Hollywood to blacklist Mel Gibson because of Gibson's "anti-Semitic remarks" during his DUI arrest. Emanuel wrote, "People in the entertainment community, whether Jew or Gentile, need to demonstrate that they understand how much is at stake in this by professionally shunning Mel Gibson and refusing to work with him, even if it means a sacrifice to their bottom line."
In 2007, Emanuel publicly backed Chris Albrecht after Albrecht was fired from HBO for a domestic violence arrest, preceded by rumors of three earlier incidents of violence against women. Emanuel wrote, "If Hollywood is going to give Mel Gibson a second chance, and sports fans are going to cheer on stars like Jason Kidd, Latrell Sprewell, and Stephen Jackson who have made similar mistakes, why not Chris Albrecht?" Emanuel later helped Albrecht land his next job at IMG.
An April 2002 lawsuit by agent Sandra Epstein against Endeavor Agency brought forth accusations by Epstein and other Endeavor employees against Emanuel. In the court filings, Emanuel is alleged to have allowed a friend to operate a pornographic website out of Endeavor's offices.
According to Epstein, Emanuel made racist and anti-gay remarks and prevented her from sending a script about Navy SEALs to actor Wesley Snipes, saying, "That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Everyone knows that blacks don’t swim." Emanuel disputed these accusations at the time. Epstein's claims were settled for $2.25 million.
In March 2013, it was revealed that Emanuel was unhappy with an interview of him and his two brothers conducted by NBC anchor Brian Williams. According to the New York Post, Emanuel was not pleased with the "aggresive" tone of the interview and believed "something was just off," according to a source. Emanuel's lawyer sent a letter to NBC over the perceived issue.
Emanuel has in the past been active on the board of trustees of P.S. Arts, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that works to bring art education programs to Southern California schools, and he has also helped the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, establish MOCAtv, a dedicated YouTube art channel. In 2012, he joined the museum's board.
- Littleton, Cynthia (2009-04-27). "WMA, Endeavor approve merger". Variety.
- "Profile: Rahm Emanuel". BBC News. 2008-11-07. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- Bumiller, Elisabeth (1997-06-15). "The Brothers Emanuel". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- Gateway families: ancestors and descendants of Richard Simrall Hawes III and Marie Christy Johnson, by Christy Hawes Bond, Alicia Crane Williams, C. Hawes Bond, 1994, p. 527
- "Ari Emanuel: 21st century Hollywood mogul". The Independent. July 15, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Cieply, Michael (June 10, 2009). "Mogul Ascends With Old Hollywood Clout". New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Garrahan, Matthew (December 6, 2011). "Rewriting the Hollywood script". Financial Times. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- P.N. (November 19, 2010). "Businessperson of the Year". Fortune. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Lashinsky, Adam (May 23, 2013). "Hi, It's Ari @#$%ing Emanuel, and I plan to shake up Hollywood". Fortune. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Horn, John (2006-06-28). "A Green Light for 'Aqua'?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- Emanuel, Ari (2006-07-30). "The Bottom Line on Mel Gibson's Anti-Semitic Remarks". The Huffington Post.
- "Nicole Kidman and 84 Others Stand United Against Terrorism". Hollywood Grind. August 18, 2006.
- Finke, Nikki (2007-05-10). "Ari Emanuel Defends Fired Chris Albrecht". Deadline.com.
- Emanuel, Ari (2006-05-10). "In Defense of Chris Albrecht". The Huffington Post.
- Finke, Nikki (2007-09-18). "Is Endeavor Playing Into IMG's Hands?". Deadline.com.
- Berrin, Danielle (November 6, 2008). "Rahm Emanuel's brother, Ari Emanuel, is a Hollywood superagent". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
- Cieply, Michael (2008-07-27). "Agents Replaying a Hollywood Drama". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- Randy Kennedy (October 3, 2012), Ari Emanuel Joins Board of Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles New York Times.