General Service Agreements are issue at hand

With no fanfare, SAG’s been taking a few small steps toward re-regulating Hollywood agents.

Guild toppers and reps of the Assn. of Talent Agents huddled Monday at a Santa Monica hotel on the issue of General Service Agreements, which allow bigger commissions than the standard 10% and allow commissioning of supplemental revenues.

The confab follows a series of Screen Actors Guild member outreach meetings, held at the behest of its National Agent Relations Committee. SAG national exec director Doug Allen was hired last fall by a national board that strongly indicated it wanted the agency agreement revived in some form that would require SAG members to use only franchised agents.

SAG and the agents had been married through the ATA and the National Assn. of Talent Representatives for more than six decades before a spectacular divorce in 2002. The guild surrendered oversight of major agents when the franchise agreement lapsed after members voted down a revamp of that pact – mainly due to concerns that eased ownership rules would lead to possible conflicts of interest.

Many smaller agencies still adhere to the SAG franchise rules, but most major agencies – repped through the ATA – do not.

During the member outreach meetings, no consensus emerged. Some thesps asserted that the less-restrictive provisions of GSAs needed to be halted, while others contended that they did not want to see a scenario in which SAG members would have to refuse to retain an agent if that agent wasn’t franchised.

Monday’s meeting was the second of three such confabs between the ATA and SAG. The ATA disclosed news of the meeting on its website Monday without comment; SAG declined comment.

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