by Larry Brody
This just in…as in yesterday evening’s email box. And, I think, Very Important:
June 25, 2019
We wanted to update you on a few things:
Last week we announced the WGA will no longer seek an agreement with the Association of Talent Agents, but instead will deal with individual agencies. Contact with each of the nine remaining unsigned agencies is underway, including the offer to meet to discuss a new proposal.
Yesterday the WGA contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission and Endeavor’s IPO underwriters to inform them of Endeavor’s failure to properly disclose the risk presented by the agency’s conflicted practices. The company’s filing did not disclose the number of writers who had terminated representation with the agency, which is currently 1,400 writers, accounting for approximately 23% of all Endeavor clients. The magnitude of the client loss is material to the risk of investing in Endeavor.
Also yesterday, WME filed suit accusing the Guilds (East and West) of engaging in an illegal boycott. We planned for this. A countersuit is a typical response to a lawsuit and something we anticipated one or more agencies might do after the WGA implemented the Code of Conduct, writers terminated agents, and the conflict of interest lawsuit was filed.
A rumor attributed to agency sources claims the WGA is “using pension funds to pay for the WME lawsuit.” This is false. Under federal law – Taft Hartley – all collectively-bargained union pension funds are under the joint control of labor and management trustees. Using such funds for any purpose other than to invest and pay member pensions would be a federal felony under ERISA.
The WGA has sufficient funds to deal with legal costs of filing and defending these lawsuits. The WGAW’s finances are transparent: the 2018 Annual Financial Report will be mailed to members this Friday the 28th of June. It shows how solid our financial position is.
Watch your inboxes this week for a link to a member survey about the agency campaign.
We anticipate scheduling general member meetings in July. You will receive the meeting invitation after the July 4th holiday weekend.
In the meantime, Los Angeles-area members are invited to come to one of the two currently scheduled Wednesday Member Get-Togethers at the Guild office. Board and Negotiating Committee members will be available to informally answer questions, and you’ll have a chance to network with other members as well.
RSVP at this link to attend a WGA Member Get-Together
Wednesday, June 26 7-9 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10 7-9 p.m.
WGA-Agency Agreement Negotiating Committee
Chris Keyser, Co-Chair
David Shore, Co-Chair
Meredith Stiehm, Co-Chair
Deric A. Hughes
Tracey Scott Wilson
Patric M. Verrone
David A. Goodman, President WGAW, ex-officio
Marjorie David, Vice President WGAW, ex-officio
Aaron Mendelsohn, Secretary-Treasurer WGAW, ex-officio
Beau Willimon, President WGAE, ex-officio
Jeremy Pikser, Vice President WGAE, ex-officio
Bob Schneider, Secretary-Treasurer WGAE, ex-officio
Writers Guild of America West
7000 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone (323) 951-4000 • Fax (323) 782-4800 • www.wga.org