One of the advertising industry’s leading production studios fired a key executive – who also served on the company’s diversity committee – following a series of tweets in which she expressed her explicit support to Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The Mill confirmed to Adweek today that he fired Erica Hilbert, managing director of his Chicago office, for her tweets, which have since been deleted, as well as her Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Among his alleged infractions, Hilbert allegedly posted a photo with the caption “Coming for ya DC!” shortly before the January 6 demonstration which escalated into an attack on the U.S. Capitol
The Mill said his tweets were in direct opposition to the company’s values of diversity, equity and inclusion and violated its zero tolerance policy for derogatory comments related to age, gender, to culture and race.
Hilbert was briefly suspended while The Mill conducted an internal investigation into the tweets in question. She was eventually fired from her leadership role.
“On Wednesday evening of last week, we learned about social media content on Chicago CEO Erica Hilbert’s personal Twitter account, which directly contravenes our values of diversity, equity and inclusion here at The Mill, “a studio representative said in a statement to Adweek. . “We immediately put Erica on administrative leave, without contact with Mill employees or customers, as we sought to confirm the origin of the comments. While our drive for inclusion always allows for divergent views, these messages were disparaging when it comes to the age, gender, culture and race of individuals – for which we have a zero tolerance policy. As a result, we have terminated Erica’s employment with The Mill.
Specious claims mixed with vituperation
According to a source familiar with his deleted tweets, Hilbert expressed support for Trump’s baseless allegations of voter fraud and viciously criticized Republican leaders who did not stand by the president and his hardline supporters. While Hilbert posted that she was “Coming for ya DC” with the #StopTheSteal hashtag popular among Trump supporters, there has been no subsequent article indicating whether she participated in the “March to Save America” protest. or the assault on the Capitol building that followed and led to the evacuation of the US Congress, the source told Adweek.
Adweek could not reach Hilbert for comment, due to the deletion of all of his social media profiles.
Graham taunt, Rubio
While writing about Hilbert’s dismissal, production news site Reel360 included what he said was screenshots of his tweets before they are deleted. In a tweet to Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally who ultimately spoke out against the overturning of the election results, she reportedly tweeted: “Good luck, old man! You are donezo! #patrioticparty therefore takes over TFO! “
For Senator Marco Rubio, another Republican who chose not to side with Trump’s election overthrow, Reel360’s screenshot shows Hilbert tweeting, “No help, fake news, you’re a sucker and a week [sic] and a sad excise [sic] for a Latino. Recognize the crowd. Acknowledge the fraud. You pussy! “
Hilbert had been a member of The Mill’s official DCI committee. However, she did not lead DCI’s efforts in Chicago or more broadly at the time of her dismissal. In his role as Managing Director of The Mill Chicago, Hilbert helped start an internal forum following the murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. This discussion was formalized into a monthly conversation on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion by The Mill’s extended DCI working group.