Earlier this week, we reported former Mill Chicago Managing Director, Erica Hilbert, was terminated due to her incendiary and taunting tweets targeting Republican politicians, including Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
After “being in the vicinity” of the March to Save America/#StoptheSteal rally, Ms. Hilbert allegedly tweeted a flurry of inflammatory comments – “You’re donezo, old man,” she tweeted to Lindsey Graham and called Rubio a “POS.”
After The Mill conducted a brief investigation, the post-production house determined Hilbert, who was managing director since 2019, was indeed the author and took action. The company then tweeted Sunday morning, “At the end of this week we became aware of a series of contentious Twitter posts on a personal account linked to a member of our Chicago Management team. We would like to update you on the actions we have taken.”
Since running the piece on Sunday, Reel 360 has heard from Hilbert’s attorney Joseph Morris of Morris and De La Rosa. In the statement, Morris says Hilbert made the Mill aware that her Twitter account, which had 10 followers, had been hacked. Morris notes, “The Mill and its spokeswoman have not deigned to share with Ms. Hilbert the means by which they “verified” her purported authorship of the inflammatory comments. They could not have been “verified” for the simple reason that Ms. Hilbert was not the author of them.”
Morris also addresses Hilbert allegedly calling Senator Rubio, “a poor excuse for a Latino.”
“Erica Hilbert is herself a Latina. She had been appointed by Technicolor, S.A., The Mill’s parent company, to help lead The Mill’s global task force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Until her termination this weekend, she was serving in that role. In that capacity she has championed key principles and values for which the company claims to stand.”
Read the full statement below:
“Your readers and you should hear Ms. Hilbert’s side of the story. Your report quotes an unnamed spokeswoman for The Mill claiming “we verified that the comments were authored by Erica”. The Mill and its spokeswoman have not deigned to share with Ms. Hilbert the means by which they “verified” her purported authorship of the inflammatory comments.
They could not have been “verified” for the simple reason that Ms. Hilbert was not the author of them. Ms. Hilbert categorically denies that she was the author of the “series of contentious Twitter posts”. Rather, as she promptly informed her company, her personal Twitter account was hacked and she deactivated the account the moment she saw the tweets.
We do not yet know who mounted this attack on Ms. Hilbert and who so grossly demeaned her, invaded her privacy, endangered her family, and cost her her job. Nor do we yet know their motives. But we know that Erica Hilbert is a consummate media professional whose ethics are beyond question, having been tested repeatedly in her industry.
As you reported, Ms. Hilbert’s “experience within the local market propelled the development of The Mill’s Chicago offering. Before stepping into the role of Managing Director, Hilbert built the studio’s award-winning production team as Head of Production.” By all objective accounts, Ms. Hilbert did her job exceptionally well while keeping her political and religious beliefs to herself.
Not only did she help make The Mill successful but she challenged the firm to improve in many areas, including in taking care of its talent. Companies often claim that their people are the firm’s “Number One asset” and yet allow toxic work environments to form and fester. Ms. Hilbert has been a leader in promoting healthy workplaces and sound work / life balances. Both her employer and the industry at large have benefited from her work. Erica Hilbert is herself a Latina.
She had been appointed by Technicolor, S.A., The Mill’s parent company, to help lead The Mill’s global task force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Until her termination this weekend, she was serving in that role. In that capacity she has championed key principles and values for which the company claims to stand.
Among them were inclusiveness of viewpoints and tolerance of viewpoint diversity, including political diversity; loyalty to clients that includes setting aside extraneous disagreements with clients and client personnel in the interests of achieving client goals in the engagements that the company has accepted; and redressing intolerance, vulgarity, and personal abuse in all their forms when they surface or threaten to surface in the workplace.
When this work is carried out with integrity, does it make enemies? Apparently so. All of my contact information appears below. You are welcome to contact me for verification or for further information.
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When we asked Mr. Morris if Ms. Hilbert actually attended the rally as a photo in a tweet indicates, his reply was repeatedly ambiguous, “She was in the vicinity.” When we asked if she attended Trump speaking, his answer was, “She heard him speak.” The attorney claims when the supporters began storming the U.S. Capitol building, she and her husband went to tour monuments, cutting it short.
Mr. Morris added that Hilbert and her family have been subjected to threatening and derogatory comments.
Reel 360 reached out to The Mill’s spokeswoman to get clarification on the timeline of Hilbert claiming she was hacked, the investigation and the eventual termination. She replied, “We were concerned about the derogatory tweets and so we placed Erica on administrative leave to allow us to confirm the origin of the comments and conduct an investigation. When we spoke with Erica, she admitted that it was her Twitter account, but denied that she was the author of the offensive “tweets” and has claimed that her account had been hacked.”
After Reel 360 obtained some of Hilbert’s previous tweets, we were able to see that while there was nothing particularly offensive about them, she does have a habit (as many of us do) of tweeting her feelings to various politicians.