WMA President Wirtschafter’s Comments Stir Up Trouble In Hollywood

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — William Morris Agency President David Wirtschafter has gotten himself in some deep water with his clients recently, after making a few unflattering comments about some of the company’s top names in a lengthy New Yorker profile printed on March 13.

In the 12-page piece, titled “Secret Agent Man,” Wirtschafter said that actress Sarah Michelle Geller was “nothing at all” before the success of “The Grudge.”

Geller rapidly left the agency, outraged at the oversight of her acting ability during her “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” days.

Wirtschafter also angered high-profile actress Halle Berry, who left the company’s roster on Thursday, reportedly claiming the article assaulted her privacy and rights as an agency client.

Berry was the subject of three full paragraphs of the piece, in which Wirtschafter quoted a finance-related discussion he’d had with her attorney regarding her starring role in the upcoming movie “Perfect Stranger.”

“She will be treated as an investor in the film for the difference,” Wirtschafter says in the article, “and for every dollar she invests she would get a dollar-fifty out of the gross until she recoups a hundred and fifty per cent of her investment.”

Wirtschafter also mentioned that she was willing to “give up a little money to get a good director or costar.” He said her career needed “burnishing” after the disappointment of “Catwoman.”

In a quickly-leaked and highly-circulated internal apology letter, Wirtschafter said “As you know, I am the subject of a story in the New Yorker that has caused some problems…I had personal reasons for doing the article and I recognize that these became blurred with my professional life.

“I never intended to harm any of our colleagues or our clients by participating in this story…While I can elaborate on the fine points of how I was portrayed and what I said, I did participate in this and want to apologize for any hurt that has stemmed from it.”

He also submitted a public apology statement to the Los Angeles Times.

Wirtschafter became president of WMA just three months ago in a rearrangement of the company’s executive ranks. More than a week since the article ran, rumors are still circulating in Hollywood about other potential client departures and the possibility for other firms to pick up some previously-accounted-for big names. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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