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Morgan Wallen: Tough Decisions at the William Morris Endeavor Agency (B)
Mead, Jenny; Parmar, Bidhan L.; Clark-Hamel, Skyler Case E-0495 / Published June 26, 2023 / 2 pages.
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Product Overview

Jay Williams, cohead of the Nashville office of the William Morris Endeavor (WME), must decide how to respond to an incident involving Morgan Wallen, one of the talent agency’s fastest-rising country music stars. Wallen, a white singer, was caught on home security footage using an ethnic slur with a group of white friends after a night of drinking. The following day, the footage was released to the public, and Wallen was swiftly disavowed by his record company, the two largest country music institutions, and hundreds of country radio stations. Williams faces pressure from executives in WME’s Beverly Hills corporate office, because Black A-list clients are lobbying the agency to drop the enormously popular Wallen from the WME client roster. In the A case, Williams considers several complicating factors, including WME’s bottom line should it drop Wallen, the social justice movement and the risk of public backlash, the possibility that dropping Wallen could also mean losing Wallen’s up-and-coming agent, and the planned WME IPO. This B case offers an overview of WME’s decision and brings up new issues. This case set can be applied to a range of relevant topics: ethical decision-making, corporate responsibility, cancel culture, business and political polarization, employee (talent) representation, public relations and scandal management, and leadership.



Learning Objectives

(1) Introduce an increasingly common business risk: the people you associate with. (2) Practice making ethical arguments and justifying difficult choices. (3) Build skills around having difficult conversations.


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  • Overview

    Jay Williams, cohead of the Nashville office of the William Morris Endeavor (WME), must decide how to respond to an incident involving Morgan Wallen, one of the talent agency’s fastest-rising country music stars. Wallen, a white singer, was caught on home security footage using an ethnic slur with a group of white friends after a night of drinking. The following day, the footage was released to the public, and Wallen was swiftly disavowed by his record company, the two largest country music institutions, and hundreds of country radio stations. Williams faces pressure from executives in WME’s Beverly Hills corporate office, because Black A-list clients are lobbying the agency to drop the enormously popular Wallen from the WME client roster. In the A case, Williams considers several complicating factors, including WME’s bottom line should it drop Wallen, the social justice movement and the risk of public backlash, the possibility that dropping Wallen could also mean losing Wallen’s up-and-coming agent, and the planned WME IPO. This B case offers an overview of WME’s decision and brings up new issues. This case set can be applied to a range of relevant topics: ethical decision-making, corporate responsibility, cancel culture, business and political polarization, employee (talent) representation, public relations and scandal management, and leadership.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    (1) Introduce an increasingly common business risk: the people you associate with. (2) Practice making ethical arguments and justifying difficult choices. (3) Build skills around having difficult conversations.