UTA Cancels Oscar Party; Plans 'United Voices' Rally & Donations to ACLU

February 08, 2017

United Talent Agency has cancelled its annual Oscar party and instead will hold a rally "to express the creative community's growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiments in the United States. In addition to the rally UTA will also donate $250,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the International Rescue Committee.

UTA which is a premier talent and literary agency with worldwide offices and clients throughout the globe. The decision to scrap their annual post-Academy Awards fete came in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban and refugees from seven mainly Muslim nations.

One of UTA's clients Academy Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi will not be attending the Oscars this year although his film The Salesman is nominated for the best foreign language film category. According to UTA when Farhadi learned of what his agency was doing, he texted saying that he was "honored and in tears."

UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer wrote in a letter to agency employees that "this is a moment that demands our generosity, awareness, and restlessness. 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."

The agency has also launched a CrowdRise fundraising campaign to help multiply the impact of the money that they are donating to the ACLU and International Rescue Committee. If you want to express your support for artistic freedom and the concern for the anti-immigrant sentiment and its potential chilling effects around the world, you can donate directly to the ACLU or join the United Voices campaign.

The "United Voices" Rally will take place during Oscar Weekend (February 24) outside of the UTA Headquarters at 9336 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, CA.

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