You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

WGA Update: Scribe Tribe Focuses On Organizing New Media, Reality TV

WGA Awards won't expand eligibility, East Coast prexy says

Seven years after a bitter writers strike over new media, the Writers Guild of America reached a historic deal last spring with minimum terms covering “high-budget new media made for subscription video-on-demand” — such as Netflix.The successor deal, which runs into 2017, also modified the option and exclusivity requirements for TV writers amid seasons that have become shorter than the traditional 22 episodes.

“It’s a remarkable time in TV,” says WGA West prexy Chris Keyser. “It really is a world of expanding opportunities, and that is obviously good for writers. The companies are making a lot of profits, so we’re trying to be cautiously optimistic as we get ready for the next talks.”

Keyser acknowledges that feature film writing continues to slide as major studios make fewer movies. The WGA West’s 2014 report to members showed a decline of 24% between 2009 and 2013.

WGA East president Michael Winship agrees that the expansion of TV writing has heartened his 4,000 members. The branch has been attempting to expand that by organizing reality-TV production companies — Sharp Entertainment, Optomen Productions, Lion TV — in recent years. “It really is a burgeoning industry,” says Winship.

Winship says there’s no plan to revise the guild’s policy on awards eligibility, which disqualified Oscar-nommed screenplays “Birdman” and “The Theory of Everything.”“We view the awards as a celebration of the membership, so we’re not going to change the rules,” he says.

Keyser is working on making sure that the announcement of the winners will take place concurrently in Los Angeles and New York. New York invariably announces results first.

“It’s tougher than it sounds because there are so many people involved.”

More Biz

  • Jennifer Lawrence Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Bragged of Sex With Jennifer Lawrence, Lawsuit Claims

    Harvey Weinstein was hit with a lawsuit Friday from an actress who claims he forcibly performed oral sex on her, repeatedly masturbated in front of her, and threatened to harm her career if she objected. According to the suit, Weinstein pushed her to the ground during a meeting in his office in 2013. He then [...]

  • Times Up Hollywood

    Time's Up Entertainment Announces New Industry Mentoring Initiative

    Time’s Up Entertainment, an affiliate of the Time’s Up coalition of women across industries working to improve workplace safety, has announced the “Who’s in the Room” industry mentoring initiative. The program’s goal is to increase the presence of people of color from diverse backgrounds in the entertainment industry’s executive ranks. Funded by a $500,000 grant from [...]

  • Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in

    Paramount Inks Deal for Theme Park in South Korea

    Paramount Pictures has announced a deal to install a studio-branded theme park in an entertainment resort being developed in South Korea. The agreement was struck between Paramount and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which owns the Inspire Integrated Entertainment Resort in the South Korean city of Incheon. Mohegan has invested KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.4 billion) in [...]

  • Davan Maharaj Mel Gibson

    L.A. Times Publisher's Lawyer Was Accused of Extorting Mel Gibson

    The attorney who negotiated a $2.5 million exit package for L.A. Times publisher Davan Maharaj was previously accused of using secret recordings to extort actor Mel Gibson. Surreptitious recordings also figure in the Maharaj case. NPR reported on Wednesday that Maharaj taped Tronc chairman Michael Ferro. According to the report, Ferro was heard on the [...]

  • 'Blurred Lines' Suit Ends With $5

    'Blurred Lines' Suit Ends With $5 Million Judgement Against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams

    After five years, the legal battle over the copyright of the Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” has ended, with Marvin Gaye’s family being awarded a final judgment of nearly $5 million against the song’s primary writers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, according to CNN and other reports. The pair were accused of copyright infringement [...]

  • WME Veteran Ari Greenburg Promoted to

    WME Veteran Ari Greenburg Promoted to President of Talent Agency

    WME veteran Ari Greenburg, one of the original Endeavor staffers who helped build the talent agency that became an industry powerhouse, has been promoted to president. Greenburg will oversee all daily operations across WME and its offices in Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville, London and Sydney. The promotion recognizes the role that Greenburg has played [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content