Writers Guild of America-Association of Talent Agents Saga Continues

by Larry Brody

The latest development, per the Writers Guild of America West Board of Directors:

Dear Member,

We are happy to announce the launch of the WGA’s Weekly Feature Memo.

Every Friday, the Guild will send out a list of available specs and pitches to producers and development execs, via a subscription email.

You simply submit your logline to the Guild. The submissions will be organized by genre. Any producer wanting to read your spec, hear your pitch, or set a general meeting will be able to contact you via a link to the Find-a-Writer Database.

The Weekly Feature Memo is available to Current, Post-Current and Associate Members. Each member can make up to two submissions a month.  Submissions received by noon Wednesday each week will be sent out each Friday (except for holiday weekends). Any submission received after the Wednesday deadline will be held for the following week.

The first edition will be sent out Friday, April 26, 2019.

You can find the submission form here.

You must be logged in to MyWGA to access the form and there is also a link in the MyWGA menu to the form.

In Solidarity,

WGAW Board of Directors

And from Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times culture columnist and critic:

In the early stages of the current war between the Writers Guild of America and the Assn. of Talent Agents, it was difficult for anyone who was not a writer or talent agent to get terribly worked up.

Screenwriters are not coal miners fighting for safety measures, and talent agents aren’t teachers who’d like to earn a decent living for once. This isn’t a strike; no one has to worry about late-night hosts ad-libbing through their scraggly beards.

But now? Now it’s gotten completely insane.

For those of you who haven’t been following, the WGA (for which, until recently, my husband worked as a magazine editor) wants the talent agencies to sign a new code of conduct to ensure the agents do their jobs — getting their clients the best deals possible — and that’s it. No using clients as part of an overall package deal or working with affiliated production companies; too often, the WGA contends, these practices result in writers getting shafted.

The ATA says the agencies will not be signing any such code because the WGA is not the boss of them and writers actually benefit from packaging, which has been going on for years.

So the WGA instructed its members to fire their agents, which almost all of them have, and announced it is suing the four major talent agencies.

In response, the ATA accused the WGA of trying to throw Hollywood into “predetermined chaos” and instructed its members to keep a list of any writers trying to get work without using an agent because, according to ATA reps, this is illegal.

So just to recap: Writers are unhappy with how major talent agencies have been repping them. When confronted with this, the agents refused to make any changes, so the writers fired them. Now the agencies are saying the writers cannot do this because, according to them, writers are legally boundto be represented by people who they believe are shafting them.

Even by Hollywood standards, this is Absolutely Insane….

Read it all at latimes.com

Let me repeat that last bit above. “Even by Hollywood standards, this is Absolutely Insane.”

As one lowlife, insignificant writer-serf to another, I gotta tell you, I’m feeling more like we’re trapped in Spartacus every day.

But our version of the film will have a much better ending. Because writers aren’t the powerless supplicant-rebels here. We’re the talent that no film or TV series can do without.

More than mere gladiators, we’re legionaries and we’re on the march.

In Solidarity,

LB & Team TVWriter™



Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.