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Booted? Gensler Caught Up in Agency Shuffle

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[Rendering via Gensler; construction shots taken over weekend]


Earlier this month, Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke reported that Ari Emanuel, one of the new heads of William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment (a pending merger of William Morris and Endeavor agencies) had ordered that global architecture firm Gensler be replaced from doing the new under-construction William Morris building on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills (the new agency will move their offices into the building). Why, or why, Nikke? Wrote Finke: "The problem was that Gensler designed CAA's current space and Ari hated it."
Indeed, Gensler designed the 2000 Avenue of the Stars building where CAA is headquartered. Meanwhile, here's the story that we're hearing: In the last couple of weeks, Gensler was removed from doing the interiors portion of the building. A spokesperson for Gensler would only issue the following statement: "There has been a change of leadership with William Morris and the new regime is interested in exploring all options in regards to interiors. Gensler will remain involved with the project because we are doing the base building for a different company." That makes more sense since the Beverly Hills building is actually under construction. And indeed, as the Hollywood Reporter noted, Gensler's client isn’t William Morris, but developer George Comfort & Sons. Regardless, the interior contract was likely lucrative one, and as Finke points out in her headline, this is all about power. One only needs to read about the history of architecture, talent agencies and intimidation in Los Angeles to see this is just a real-life episode of "Entourage," a likely instance of Ari Emanuel just exercising his position and power.

· Ari Gets His Way And New WME Architect [Deadline Hollywood]
· In Architecture Review, Talent Agencies Come Off As Even More Dickish Than Imagined [Curbed LA]