Agency for the Performing Arts

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APA
TypePrivate
IndustryTalent and Literary Agencies
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California
Number of locations
Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Toronto, London
Key people
James H. Gosnell Jr. CEO [1]
Jim Osborne President
Websitewww.apa-agency.com

APA (also known as Agency for the Performing Arts) is one of the largest diversified talent agencies in entertainment industry[2] with headquarters in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Toronto and London.[1] Founded in 1962 in New York by a group of former MCA agents,[3] the company represents actors, writers, producers, showrunners, directors, performers, physical production services, film studios,[1] and luxury and lifestyle brands across all media platforms worldwide. The agency also packages feature films, as well as television series such as Away on Netflix, The Dublin Murders on Showtime, All Rise on CBS, and For Life on ABC, as well as classic TV series Home Improvement and Roseanne. APA was one of the first of the top 5 packaging agencies to sign the WGA's new franchise agreement on January 21, 2020, when the agency integrated its Television and Motion Picture departments under one APA Scripted Literary banner to provide distinct and effective service in a marketplace driven by content creators and global streaming.[4]

History[edit]

APA was founded in New York in 1962 by former MCA executives David Baumgarten (c. 1917–1995),[5] Roger Vorce (1929–2018)[6] and Harvey Litwin (1931–2020).[7] Early clients included The Doors, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, Tina Turner, Steve Martin, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Rosemary Clooney and Liberace.

Current[edit]

The agency's divisions include Alternative & Factual Programming, Scripted Literary, Talent, Intellectual Property, Branding Partnerships, Comedy & Live Podcasts, Concert Touring, Physical Production,[8] Theater and Speakers. APA is the 5th largest talent agency in the United States after Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, William Morris Endeavor, and ICM Partners. They are larger in size than Paradigm Talent Agency, The Gersh Agency, Innovative Artists, Abrams Artists Agency, and Don Buchwald & Associates.[9] On September 4, 2020, financier Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies made a strategic non-equity financial investment in APA to support the continued growth of the agency's core business of talent representation.[10]

The agency's on-camera and theatrical talent include such actors as Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning Gary Oldman (Mank, Darkest Hour), Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG Award nominated, Grammy and NAACP Award-winning Mary J. Blige (Mudbound, Power Book II: Ghost), Academy Award-winning Mira Sorvino (Hollywood, Stuber), Grammy and Billboard Award-winning Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson (Power franchise), SAG Award-winning and Emmy Award nominated Lili Taylor (The Conjuring, Perry Mason), Award-winning Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns, Still Alice), Emmy Award nominated Anne Heche (The Vanished, Chicago PD),[4] Famke Janssen (X-Men franchise),[11] Tyrese Gibson (Fast & Furious), Academy Award-winning Richard Dreyfuss (Madoff), Cole Hauser (Yellowstone), Tony, Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning James Earl Jones (The Lion King),[12] Emmy Award-winning Eddie Izzard (Victoria & Abdul),[13] and Lucas Till (MacGuyver).[14]

APA has been a driving force behind such non-fiction series as Dance Moms (Lifetime), Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (A&E), Dr. Pimple Popper (TLC), Unidentified (History), and Blown Away (Netflix). The agency also represents the Executive Producers of hit non-fiction series such as Nailed It (Netflix), So You Think You Can Dance (Fox), Let’s Make a Deal (CBS), and Pyramid (ABC).

The agency's Concert Touring division[15] represents a diversified list of talented performers across all music genres with departments that include Adult Contemporary, Contemporary, Country, Jazz, and Rhythmic Contemporary.

The agency also reps numerous authors and storytellers in the area intellectual property, whose works have been adapted for film, streaming, television and Broadway, including bestselling author Gregory Maquire (Wicked, Egg & Spoon),[16] #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child (Jack Reacher books),[17] #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris (True Blood, Midnight, Texas, Aurora Teagarden Mysteries),[18] #1 New York Times bestselling fantasy author Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn),[19] #1 New York Times bestselling author C.J. Box (The Highway, adapted by David E. Kelley for the ABC series “Big Sky”),[20] bestselling author James Rollins (Sigma Force franchise),[21] Patrick O’Brian (Master & Commander),[22] New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award winner Neal Shusterman (Challenger Deep),[23] the Truman Capote estate,[24] and the Richard Wright estate,[25] among others.

Controversies[edit]

In 2017, then APA agent Tyler Grasham was accused of assaulting several current or former child actors, including Blaise Godbe Lipman (who stated that Grasham assaulted him ten years earlier when he was looking for representation) and Lucas Ozarowski, a film and TV editor who stated that he was also assaulted by Grasham.[26] Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard, who was represented by Grasham at the time, parted ways with both the agent and APA in the wake of the allegations.[27] After a prompt investigation, the agency terminated Grasham's employment with them.[28]

In 2017, a former agent of APA accused the agency of sexual discrimination, harassment and assault. As evidence, the agent alleged that a partner at the firm sent her graphic text messages and threatened to have her fired when she refused their advances. A private investigation commissioned by APA concluded the agent's claims were fraudulent, and that she had fabricated emails and text messages to extort money from the agency. With these results in hand, APA filed a Demand for Arbitration pursuant to the agent's employment agreement.[29] Thereafter, the former agent filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court citing the same allegations, but APA was successful in moving to compel the matter to be decided by arbitration.[30]

In 2020 APA's president Jim Osborne became the defendant, together with his client, Oscar winner actor Gary Oldman, of a lawsuit brought by scriptwriter Ben Kaplan over the script of the film Darkest Hour. Other defendants in the case are NBC Universal, producer Douglas Urbanski, Working Title Film Group and Focus Features. Ben Kaplan claims the defendants ripped off part of an original screenplay about Winston Churchill he spent years developing and to which the defendants had had access to the drafts. He also claims Mr Oldman had signed to his Churchill script before dropping the project and joining Darkest Hour.[31][32][33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "APA Opens London Office, Signs Pinewood Studios Group".
  2. ^ "The 25 largest talent agencies ranked by number of agents in L.A. County".
  3. ^ Longwell, Todd. "APA: Percentery's synergies". Variety.com. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie; Robb, David (January 21, 2020). "APA Agency Signs Agreement With The WGA – Update". Deadline. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  5. ^ "DAVID BAUMGARTEN". Variety. May 8, 1995.
  6. ^ Brockington, Ariana (May 7, 2018). "Roger Vorce, Agency for the Performing Arts Co-Founder, Dies at 88".
  7. ^ "Stocks". Bloomberg.com.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Six Montana Artists Agents & Executives Led By Toppers Matt Birch & Ralph Berge Join APA". Deadline Hollywood. Deadline.com. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Largest Talent Agencies in Los Angeles (2019) 2019
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 4, 2020). "Ron Burkle Makes Big Investment In APA". Deadline. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  11. ^ "'X-Men' Star Famke Janssen Signs with APA (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. September 2, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 7, 2019). "James Earl Jones & Paul Bates Returning For 'Coming To America' Sequel, Rick Ross Also Joining". Deadline. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  13. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 25, 2019). "Bill Pullman, Eddie Izzard, Diplo Join 'Covers' Comedy". Deadline. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 21, 2016). "'X-Men's Lucas Till To Play MacGyver In CBS Reboot Pilot". Deadline. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "APA Agency - Touring". APA Agency. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 25, 2014). "Universal Lands Book From 'Wicked' Author, 'Egg and Spoon'". Variety. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (July 15, 2019). "Amazon Developing Jack Reacher Drama Series From Nick Santora Based On Lee Child Books". Deadline. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  18. ^ "'True Blood' Author Adapting 'Midnight, Texas' Book Series for NBC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  19. ^ "APA Signs 'The Reckoners' Author Brandon Sanderson". www.yahoo.com. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 30, 2020). "David E. Kelley PI Drama 'The Big Sky' Ordered To Series By ABC From A+E Studios". Deadline. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (March 18, 2016). "'Map of Bones' Movie Comes to Life at Lionsgate With 'Black Panther' Writer (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  22. ^ "Hollywood Throwback: Dinner at Sam Goldwyn Jr.'s with Charlton Heston and 'Master and Commander' Author Patrick O'Brian". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 25, 2019). "Disney+ Acquires Neal Shusterman Novel 'Challenger Deep' With 'Toy Story 4's Will McCormack Adapting". Deadline. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  24. ^ "The Weinstein Co. Options TV Rights for 'In Cold Blood'". The Hollywood Reporter. April 13, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  25. ^ "Celebrated Black Novel 'Native Son' Gets New Film Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. February 21, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  26. ^ Robb, David (October 20, 2017). "APA Investigating Agent As Two Men Come Forward With Sexual Assault Allegations". Deadline. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  27. ^ Busch, Anita (October 20, 2017). "'Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard Exits APA Over Sexual Assault Allegations Against His Agent". Deadline. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  28. ^ "APA Agent Tyler Grasham Fired Amid Sexual Abuse Claims". The Hollywood Reporter. October 20, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  29. ^ "Ex-APA Employee's Suit Alleging a "Sexually Abusive Environment" Moved to Arbitration". The Hollywood Reporter. December 13, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  30. ^ "Ex-APA Worker Files Sexual Harassment Suit; Agency Claims Extortion". TheWrap. June 19, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  31. ^ "Gary Oldman sued by screenwriter who claims 'Darkest Hour' stole scenes". The Independent. September 22, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  32. ^ Patten, Dominic (September 21, 2020). "Gary Oldman & NBCUniversal Sued Over Oscar-Nominated 'Darkest Hour'". Deadline. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  33. ^ Maddaus, Gene (September 21, 2020). "Gary Oldman Sued by Writer Who Claims 'Darkest Hour' Lifted From Script". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2022.

External links[edit]