Reel 360 has confirmed that Erica Hilbert, who was The Mill Chicago’s managing director since 2019, has been fired due to her participation in, and social media support of, last week’s insurrection which took place outside and inside of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
“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,” The Mill tweeted Sunday morning.
Reel 360 then obtained a statement from The Mill which was reflected in a series of tweets which followed:
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 senior Management team. We would like to update you on the actions we have taken.
At The Mill, we work hard to maintain an environment where everyone can feel safe and secure to work, whatever their background or beliefs. In 2020, we created a new statement of values & purpose to guide us internally. It is one we are proud to share publicly with our clients and partners. While our drive for inclusion will always allow for differing points of view, we found the content of these Tweets to be derogatory to gender, age, culture, and race. Because of this, we immediately placed the member of staff on administrative leave to allow time for us to confirm the origin of the comments. Based on our findings we have now terminated the employment of the staff member in question.
We are sorry this unfortunate situation has caused understandable concern for our staff, clients, and partners. We believe diversity of ideas, people and cultures is the lifeblood of our creativity and essential to our success as a global company.
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In question are Hilbert’s actions. Last Wednesday, during the electoral college count being held during a joint session of Congress, outgoing President Donald Trump unleashed what amounted to a bloody coup where four rioters and a police officer were killed. They include former Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit, 34 of San Diego, Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia; Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; and Benjamin Phillips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania, and Officer Brian D. SickNick.
Each died after suffering medical emergencies, D.C. police said.
The riot was in reaction to the November 3 election in which President-Elect Joe Biden won 306 electoral votes, surpassing the 270 needed. Donald Trump refused to concede, and stoked the flames with lies about a stolen election, even after the states in question recounted and certified the votes.
Shortly before Congress would begin its session, which is largely ceremonial, Trump, Rudy Guiliani, Donald Trump Jr., Roy Moore and others spoke at a March to Save America in which Hilbert reportedly attended. She posted this tweet that has since been taken down:
It is not known if Hilbert actually participated in breaching the Capitol Building, but she did unleash a series of tweets later verbally attacking Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC) and Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL), calling him, “a poor excuse for a Latino.”
When Reel 360 asked a spokeswoman at The Mill why Hilbert was first placed on leave, she replied, “Erica was placed on leave first so we could do our due diligence on verifying that it was indeed her account and her authorship and that the Twitter account in question hadn’t been hacked. As soon as we verified that the comments were authored by Erica and that it was indeed her account, we took immediate action to terminate her employment.”
Hilbert first joined The Mill Chicago as a Senior Producer in 2015, having previously worked at Digital Kitchen and Method. Her 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.
She said at the time, “I’m proud The Mill is a part of the competitive market and abundance of creative opportunities Chicago has to offer. We will continue to strive to be outstanding creative partners to our clients locally and beyond.”
Hilbert’s Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook accounts have been taken down.
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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1