By Cynthia Littleton March 14, 2019 5:10PM PT
The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents wrapped a long franchise agreement negotiating session on Thursday with a commitment to meet again on Monday.
The sides are trying to hammer out a deal to avert the prospect of thousands of WGA members parting ways with their talent agents after the current agreement expires on April 6. The WGA is pushing for reforms in the franchise agreement that governs business dealings between talent agents and WGA members.
The WGA wants to ban the decades-old practice of agencies taking packaging fees for helping to assemble TV series and film projects. The guild also aims to bar agencies from putting WGA members in projects that are produced or distributed by companies affiliated with the agency. The two largest agencies — WME and CAA — are part of diversified companies that have production operations, a trend that has raised conflict of interest concerns in the industry.
It’s unclear if the sides made any progress on Thursday in the session held at the Beverly Hilton. A source close to the situation said there was discussion of the state of the independent film business and the impact that banning packaging would have on helping writers and directors find financing and distribution for projects. The ATA maintains that the indie film sector would be severely hampered by an outright ban on packaging involving WGA clients.
More to come
Great tp see they’ve drawn that line. Let’s just hope they keep the lead in the Ol’ Pencil!
The Ol’ SAG Watchdog
*Headline photo featured in the Variety article