The Latest WGA-ATA Weekly Report

by Larry Brody

More lawsuits! More recriminations!

Looks like things are heating up in what seems to be turning into a fight to the finish between the Writers Guild of America and the Association of Talent Agents. (What does it say about the situation that I almost typed “Association of Travel Agents instead?)

Here’s the most recent communique from the Guild:

July 3, 2019
Dear Members,

Here’s a pre-holiday weekend update:

Last week’s announcement by the Guild that it would no longer negotiate with the ATA has resulted in conversations with some individual agencies this week. While we do not generally comment on individual confidential negotiations while they are in progress, we did respond publicly when the Abrams Agency head used the media to express frustration that the WGA was not willing to go backward and use the expired AMBA as a basis for a new agreement. Our email response is available here. We remain ready to discuss any specific concerns Abrams – or any other agency – has with our current proposal and continue to seek a negotiated solution with each agency.

Tuesday the WGA sent letters to potential investors of Endeavor’s IPO.

Yesterday packaging fee stories from PODs were posted on the Guild’s website at this link.

A survey reminder will go today to members who haven’t yet taken the survey. Search for it using the subject line: Reminder: Take the WGA Member Survey.

Here’s a link to a Daily Beast story about the campaign.

Guild members Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Jose Molina interviewed David Goodman about the agency campaign on their Children of Tendu podcast. You can listen here.

Los Angeles-area members are invited to come to next Wednesday’s Member Get-Together 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 the WGA Member Get-Together
Wednesday, July 10, 7-9 p.m.

In Solidarity,

WGA-Agency Agreement Negotiating Committee

WGA Statement of Purpose: Why Agencies Must Change

Our agents work for us. Every dollar they make must be generated as a percentage of the money we make. That is what it means to be our representatives and our fiduciaries. Agency-based studios and packaging fees make a mockery of that and are in violation of the agencies’ ethical and legal obligations to writers. We have taken too long to demand that these practices end. But the persistence of a corrupt system does not make it right. And putting things right does not blow up the business. We do not owe our agents their wealth; they owe us their loyalty. That is what we pay for. In a complex, changing, yet immensely profitable time in our industry, writers need true allies, not deeply conflicted ones. It is for this idea—simple, old-fashioned and un-revolutionary—that we stand—and for which we come together as a Guild again today.

More links for you:

https://www.wga.org/members/membership-information/agency-agreement/pods-share-their-experiences-with-packaging

WGA: TV Producers Recount Packaging Horror Stories

WGA Doubles Down On Endeavor IPO Criticism With Letter To Investors

Verve Signs Showrunner & Top WGA Negotiator Meredith Stiehm

http://bang2write.com/2019/06/5-cool-things-about-john-augusts-highland-2-5-screenwriting-software.html

From where I sit, it’s appearing harder and harder to believe that even after this is over we’ll all be able to be friends.

In Solidarity,

LB

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.