As I thought about what happened, I continued, increasingly, to be horrified by it. You are agents. Your role is to help and encourage my career and my creativity. Your role is not to place me in personal emotional turmoil. Your role is not to threaten to destroy my family’s livelihood if I don’t do your bidding. I am not an asset; I am a human being. I am not a painting hung on a wall; I am not a part of a chess set. I am not a piece of meat to be “traded” for other pieces of meat. I am not a child playing with blocks. This isn’t a game. It’s my life.
What I have decided, simply, after this period of time, is that I cannot live with myself and continue to be represented by you. I find the threats you and Rand made to be morally repugnant. I simply can’t function on a day-to-day business basis with you and Rand without feeling myself dirtied. Maybe you can beat the hell out of some people and they will smile at you afterward and make nice, but I can’t do that. I have always believed, both personally and in my scripts, in the triumph of the human spirit. I have abhorred bullying of all kinds — by government, by police, by political extremism of the Left and the Right, by the rich — maybe it’s because I came to this country as a child and was the victim of a lot of bullying when I was an adolescent. But I always fought back; I was bloodied a lot, but I fought back.
I know the risks I am taking: I am not doing this blithely. Yes, you might very well be able to hurt me with your stars, your directors, and your friends on the executive level. Yes, Irwin and Barry are friends of yours and maybe you will be able to damage my relationships with them — but as much as I treasure those relationships with them, if my decision to leave CAA affects them, then they’re not worth it anyway. Yes, you might sue me and convince UA and God knows who else to sue me. And yes, I know that you can play dirty — the things you said about Guy in your meeting with me are nothing less than character assassination. But I will risk all that. Rich or poor, successful or not, I have always been able to look myself in the mirror.
I am not saying that I don’t take your threats seriously; I take your threats very seriously indeed. But I have discussed all of this with my wife, with my fifteen-year-old boy and my thirteen-year-old girl, and they support my decision. After three years of searching, we bought a bigger and much more expensive house recently. We have decided, because of your threats and the uncertainty they cast on my future, to put the new house up for sale and stay in our old one. You told me of your feeling for your own family; do you have any idea how much pain and turmoil you’ve caused mine?
I think the biggest reason I can’t stay with you has to do with my children. I have taught them to fight for what’s right. What you did is wrong. I can’t teach my children one thing and then, on the most elemental level, do another. I am not that kind of man.
So do whatever you want to do, Mike, and fuck you. I have my family and I have my old manual imperfect typewriter and they have always been the things I’ve treasured the most.
Barry Hirsch will officially notify you that I have left CAA and from this date on Gay McElwaine will represent me.