Nasty Fight Between Hollywood Agents
LOS ANGELES (CN) - A talent agent sued Resolution Entertainment Agency for disability discrimination, claiming it poached him from ICM only to fire him less than a month later when his client Frankie Valli declined to follow him to the new agency.
Plaintiff Martin Beck claims he has decades of experience booking casino acts. He says in the Superior Court lawsuit that Resolution offered him a $175,000 a year contract, but he took $165,000 so he could fly first class because of "severe medical problems involving his neck, back, and wrists/thumbs."
Beck claims the agency agreed to let him occasionally work at home because it knew his condition sometimes makes it difficult for him to sit, drive or perform other tasks.
Beck claims that Resolution agent (nonparty) Jeff Franklin offered him the job over lunch while he was still at ICM (International Creative Management).
According to the complaint, Franklin texted Beck on June 21: "'Contract is being done with new amt. We have a deal as u know my word is my bond!'"
Things quickly turned sour, however, when Resolution failed to persuade Valli to move to the agency along with Beck, according to the complaint.
Valli is not a party to the complaint.
The former Four Seasons singer brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions, partly because of the success of the musical about the Four Seasons, "Jersey Boys." Beck claims the attempt to lure Valli floundered because Resolution excluded him from negotiations.
"During this same time, plaintiff was experiencing a flare-up of pain and needed to work from home," the complaint states. "Resolution began a campaign to harass plaintiff. Resolution began sending plaintiff emails alleging that he was not working and setting artificially short deadlines for plaintiff to respond. Plaintiff indicated that he could not respond based on the arbitrary deadline imposed by Resolution because of his medical conditions and because of his doctors' appointments."
Beck, who claims he never received a final draft of his two-year employment agreement, says he was fired on Aug. 2, less than a month after Resolution hired him.
Elsewhere in his complaint, Beck, who is in his seventies, claims that Resolution is "floundering." He attributes the company's troubles to Resolution principal and former ICM CEO Jeff Berg, claiming the Hollywood superagent poached several ICM agents by outbidding their contracts.
"Although Berg bragged to the Hollywood Reporter that Resolution has more than
$200 million in financial backing, plaintiff alleges upon information and belief that the company is now cash-strapped and unable to maintain its enormous payroll," the complaint states.
Beck seeks unspecified damages for breach of contract, violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, disability harassment, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud.
He is represented by Bryan Freedman with Freedman + Taitelman.