3/15/2018 UPDATE: The Guild has released info from a study of talent agency – writer practices, and it definitely gives all of us much to think about. Deadline.Com has a round-up well worth reading HERE
The last time the Writers Guild of America negotiated an agreement between itself, on behalf of TV and film writers, and talent agencies, was back in 1976, so we’re probably not wrong when we say that it’s certainly time for a close examination into the ins and outs of that agreement.
Last week, WGA West leaders held a meeting to discuss the WGAW’s goals for an update. The key concern is, according to Deadline Hollywood, “the conflict of interest inherent in production and packaging.” In other words, many agencies – certainly all of the big ones – operate not only as representatives who negotiate jobs and salaries for individual writing clients, they also produce and package the shows that employ those clients, and, as has been pointed out pretty much continuously over the last forty-two years, much of the time they end up making substantially more money on those deals than their clients.
Everything is in early stages now. According to WGAW executive director David Young, the Guild hasn’t yet “reached out to the ATV [Association of Talent Agents]” about opening negotiations because “we’re figuring out if that’s the direction the membership wants to go.”
As Deadline puts it, “The intention is not to go on strike…[It’s] to update a 42-year old agreement to reflect today’s realities.”
Is the Guild really serious about addressing this blatant conflict of interest situation? TVWriter™ certainly hopes so. Meanwhile, we’d like to give you a look at what the realities were in 1976. You can find the “Artists’ Manager Basic Agreement HERE.
And you can read more about what’s happening right and what it means to of us who write for U.S. TV and film HERE
Yours in solidarity,