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JODIE FOSTER, MORE SPEAK AT UTA RALLY (UPDATE)

UPDATE: More than 2,000 attendees joined UTA founder Jeremy Zimmer and company for a rally outside the agency's Beverly Hills offices on 2/24, which UTA held in lieu of its traditional Oscar party (with donations made to ACLU and the International Rescue Committee. Speakers included Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Reza Aslan, Keegan-Michael Key and Wilmer Valderrama. Ben Harper and Sam and Casey Harris of X Ambassadors were among the performers; the latter debuted an original song, "Hoping," that will benefit the ACLU.

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, a UTA client whose The Salesman is nominated for Best Foreign Film, was heard via taped remarks. "I am grateful for the cvility of my fellow filmmakers and the UTA family who have reacted responsibly to discrimination and injustice," he said. 

Among the artists who turned out to show support: John Cho, Jai Courtney, Jamie Dornan, Megan Mullally, Bill Nye, Nick Offerman, Aaron Paul, Josh Radnor and Kristen Wiig.


 Jodie Foster, Michael J. FoxReza Aslan, Keegan-Michael KeyCynthia Erivo and Casey Harris of X Ambassadors are among the individuals who will speak Friday at United Talent Agency’s “United Voices” rally in Beverly Hills.

Organized in response to the President's proposed travel ban and other developments,  UTA  canceled its annual Oscar party. The talent agency is using most of party’s budget to make a $250k donation to the ACLU and International Rescue Committee.

International Rescue Committee President & CEO David Miliband, American Civil Liberties Union executive Hector Villagra will be speaking as will Wilmer Valderrama, DJ Cassidy, David Garibaldi and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Among the expected attendees at the 3-5pm event are Sasha Alexander,  Ted Danson, James Franco,  Juliette Lewis, Minka Kelly, Bill Nye, Seth Rogen, Mary Steenburgen and Aisha Tyler.

The "United Voices" rally will take place at 9336 Civic Center Drive; the Facebook page for the gathering is here. Response to the agency's actions among members and the Hollywood community at large, UTA reports, has been extremely positive. They have also established a CrowdRise page to raise further contributions for the ACLU and the immigration advocacy organization; it's already raised an additional $290k+. 

"This is a moment that demands our generosity, awareness and restlessness," UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer (pictured above right) wrote in a company-wide missive. "Our world is a better place for the free exchange of artists, ideas and creative expression.  If our nation ceases to be the place where artists the world over can come to express themselves freely, then we cease, in my opinion, to be America.

 "When fear and division get the better of a society, artists are among the first to feel the impact—and to denounce the ill winds," added Zimmer, who will speak at the rally. "With our words and our actions, the UTA family is speaking up for so many, including all artists and the vital global conversations they help lead."

The President's travel ban has already led one Oscar-nominated UTA client, celebrated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi to forego his trip to the event in protest. Farhadi's acclaimed feature The Salesman is up for Best Foreign Film.

 

 

 

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