On March 8, thousands of women gathered across the country to participate in “A Day Without a Woman,” taking time off work or refraining from spending money to demonstrate their value to society. Rosette Laursen wanted to be a part of it.
Laursen, then a Hollywood talent agency assistant, posted on Facebook that, not only did her boss shoot her down, but he mistakenly sent a nasty email about her request to her whole team, including her. He apparently had meant to reply only to her male co-workers.
“Are you fucking kidding me,” it began. “At the end of pilot season. Someone should [sew] her vagina shut. I’m never hiring. A girl ever again.”
The message continued: “No bonus for anyone that strikes or leaves early in pilot season. No one is striking in show business we are all against trump. And women are considered diverse and being shoved in as writer and directors. Zach who is a Jewish male is being pushed out. Uppity selfish C**t. Heather went to work. I’m sure anyone at a casting office or agency would be fired.”
(Zach and Heather are agency clients, according to Laursen.)
After debating whether to release the message anonymously out of consideration for her career, Laursen posted it publicly to her Facebook page on Tuesday. Although she refers to her former boss as “Jorkle” throughout much of the post ― “as that is not a common name for talent managers in Hollywood” ― she outs him at the end as Michael Einfeld, who runs Michael Einfeld Management, a talent agency in Los Angeles. He did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment by publication time.
After reading the email, Einfeld sent Laursen an apology via text, she said.
“I apologize for venting like a masagonistic faggit,” a screenshot reads. “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 truly am sorry.”
Laursen said on Facebook, “I wasn’t a big fan of any of this, and responded, ‘I quit.’”
“One of my male coworkers, obviously realizing he would be experiencing ‘a day without a woman’ for the indefinite future and would have to do more work, encouraged me to come back into the office saying, ‘It was just a joke,’” she continued.
Since the alleged incident, Laursen told HuffPost that she found another job that’s “comfortable and pays the bills,” but it isn’t one in her industry. “I’m looking to get back into a job that could forward my career ASAP,” wrote Laursen, an aspiring TV writer, in an email.
According to Laursen, Einfeld is given to regular outbursts about clients and employees, particularly black people and women, and uses epithets and other offensive language in the workplace. But she also got along with him at other times during her employment. “No one is bad constantly,” she wrote.
Friends encouraged her to pursue legal action against Einfeld in March, she said, but she decided to drop the case and go public with her story after Einfeld ignored repeated messages from her lawyer.
“For me it wasn’t about getting a big pay out from Jorkle,” Laursen wrote, “but since he doesn’t seem to have any remorse or a moral compass, I agreed that losing some money over this was one thing that might make him think twice about behaving in the same manner in the future.”
Since her Facebook post went live, Laursen told HuffPost, she hasn’t heard from any of her former colleagues at Michael Einfeld Management. But she has received private messages from friends and strangers who wanted to share similar experiences.
“If someone chooses not to hire me because of this, it will likely save us both from a weird workplace fit,” she explained over Facebook. “If someone doesn’t want to be my friend because of this I respectfully understand that our differences would probably come between us sooner or later and we should probably spend our time with like minded people. I value and respect who I am and I want to be surrounded by people who value and respect me, too.”