Selection.comTatiana SiegelJanuary 9, 2023
Seven days after disturbing footage surfaced of UFC CEO Dana White slapping his spouse at a New Yr’s Eve occasion, father or mother firm Endeavor continues to dodge the controversy.
Ari Emanuel’s silence on the matter has raised eyebrows round Hollywood provided that the Endeavor CEO has been fast to chime in on numerous scandals and misconduct over time, writing two latest op-eds on the scourge of antisemitism that dubbed Kanye West a “cartoonish … clown present” for praising Hitler and having beforehand known as on the trade to shun Mel Gibson “even when it means a sacrifice to their backside line.”
So what’s behind Emanuel’s newfound reticence to name out dangerous habits? Addressing the White controversy may actually have an effect on Endeavor’s backside line, contemplating that UFC is the crown jewel within the leisure conglomerate’s portfolio. In truth, UFC is among the greatest contributors to Endeavor’s progress, with the division posting $288.5 million in Q3 revenues. (Endeavor, which went public in April 2021, posted $1.4 billion in Q3 revenues general.)
“I perceive why Ari is saying nothing,” says one prime agent at a rival agency. “Take a look at what UFC means to his enterprise. This isn’t like dropping an enormous shopper. His calculus is, ‘Do I need to say something and provides it gas? Or do I need to not give it gas and hopefully let the flame die down?’”
Within the quick aftermath of the Jamal Khashoggi killing in 2017, that flame solely intensified, prompting Emanuel to behave. On the time, the Hollywood powerbroker felt the strain to return a $400 million funding from the Saudi authorities as a number of shoppers threatened to leap ship if the corporate sat by idly. (Sources say these shopper threats, nonetheless, didn’t affect his resolution to sever ties.) However within the case of White, there was little public clamoring for Emanuel to deal with the violence, even though WME reps such stars as Halle Berry and Rihanna, who’ve been vocal about home abuse. Nonetheless, some say ignoring the incident sends a problematic message.
“There’s a hazard of getting a double normal, the place athletes get held accountable for acts of home violence and homeowners don’t,” says Liz Roberts, CEO of Secure Horizon, the nation’s main sufferer help group. “There does must be some accountability right here, and that’s setting a constant normal. This can be a second to essentially get up and say, ‘No, that’s not what we’re doing anymore.’”
A spokesperson for Endeavor declined to touch upon this text.
Although Hollywood has been fast to publicly distance itself from all method of scandal lately, the Netflix-Dave Chappelle contretemps could have modified the course of how high-profile corporations deal with intense outrage. In October 2021, teams like GLAAD slammed Chappelle’s Netflix particular “The Nearer” for being anti-trans. Regardless of rising calls to do one thing, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos defended the comic and the particular. The controversy finally died down, culminating with a sparsely attended protest at Netflix headquarters.
Emanuel himself is not any stranger to missteps, having as soon as been sued by former agent Sandra Epstein for allegedly saying, “Blacks don’t swim,” with reference to Epstein’s push to ship shopper Wesley Snipes a script about Navy SEALs. (Emanuel denied the allegation, and the company settled with the agent for seven figures.) And whereas White has apologized for the New Yr’s Eve incident that happened within the VIP part of a Cabo San Lucas nightclub, he, too, has courted controversy previously. In 2018, White employed former NFL participant Greg Hardy, who was discovered responsible of assaulting and threatening an ex-girlfriend (Hardy appealed, and the case was finally dropped.)
For its half, TBS didn’t kill its upcoming actuality collection on White with the now-unfortunate title “Energy Slap: Highway to the Title.” As a substitute, it moved its debut every week, from Jan. 11 to Jan. 18.
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