A leaked email has led to the end of a gay Hollywood talent manager’s career.
Last week, Rosette Laursen, a former assistant to Michael Einfeld, shared an email she received after asking for a day off to participate in the March 8 Day Without Women protest.
“I asked for the day off because I thought this was a great cause,” Larson detailed in a Facebook post. “I was working as an assistant at a boutique talent agency… I emailed [my boss] that I would love to spend the day writing, as my career goal is to be a TV writer, and unfortunately writers’ rooms are very dominantly male, even in 2017.”
Laursen said she didn’t ask to be paid for the day, equating it with asking for an unpaid sick day. “Pilot season was slowing way down, and things were pretty quiet at work that week so far.”
But, as she soon learned, Einfeld was not interested in letting her participate. He emailed a response that was meant for two male co-workers, but accidentally CC’d the entire team, Laursen included.
“Are you fucking kidding me,” Einfeld wrote. “Someone should sew her vagina shut. I’m never hiring a girl ever again. No bonus for anyone that strikes or leaves early in pilot season. No one is striking in show business, we are all up against Trump. Women are considered diverse and being shoved in as writer and directors. Zach, who is a Jewish male, is being pushed out.”
He ended the note by calling Laursen an “uppity selfish cunt.”
Once Einfeld realized his mistake, he attempted to smooth things over in a text message.
“I apologize for venting like a misogynistic faggot,” he wrote. “I was letting off steam I didn’t mean to hit reply all. I’m an asshole. If you come back we can play Nazi death camp. You can beat me and put me in the oven. Or feed me cabbage and lock me in the shower. I am truly sorry.”
Laursen promptly quit, leading a male co-worker to defend Einfeld with, “It was just a joke.”
But she wanted there to be consequences.She also wanted to take a stand for people who routinely face misogyny, homophobia, and racism in the workplace.
“They are willing to put up with things that are absolutely crossing a line because the job will look good on a resume for the next step in their careers, or hope the connections made through the job might be beneficial,” she wrote.
“I have struggled a lot with sharing this because I’m afraid it will work against me and my career. That is scary to me, and sad that this might be the reality we live in. But it’s worth it to me to say something regardless of the outcome. I’ll be disappointed at myself if I don’t.”
After Einfeld ignored repeated attempts to discuss a possible settlement, Laursen went public with her post, which included screenshots of his emails and messages to her, as well as a photo of the x-rated lingerie Einfeld gave her for Christmas.
That’s when he finally responded, with an open letter to friends, family, and colleagues.
“Let me say without reservation: I am sorry,” he wrote on Facebook. “I used language that was tasteless, humorless and completely inexcusable. I believe deeply in workplace diversity regardless of race, gender, creed or sexual orientation, and I am mortified that the things I have said have worked against my commitment to inclusion. As I’ve searched for a response to all this, what I’ve discovered is that words fall woefully short of my extreme remorse. I am so sorry. I will be undertaking some obviously needed introspection, and want to thank those of you who have expressed a willingness to stand by me. To those that feel they need space from me, I am heartbroken but understand.”
After the incident went public, Queer Eye cast member Jai Rodrigez fired Einfeld as his rep, one of many to do so. At least 50 clients have reportedly cut ties with Einfeld, including soap stars Heather Tom, Melody Thomas Scott, Eden Riegel, Lee Meriwether, Juliet Mills, and Dan Gauthier.
According to The Wrap, at least one casting director from a major broadcast network told Einfeld’s clients she would not submit them for auditions if they maintained him as a rep.
Einfeld has since fired four staffers and is reportedly closing his offices in L.A.