Former Writers Guild of America West president Patric Verrone has been re-elected to a board seat along with incumbents Patti Carr and Jonathan Fernandez.
Ashley Gable, Betsy Thomas, Deric A. Hughes, David Slack and Travis Donnelly were also elected. Carr was the top vote-getter with 1,667, followed by Gable (1,587), Thomas (1,487), Hughes (1,426), Slack (1,360), Fernandez (1,342), Verrone (1,161), and Donnelly (972).
Eric Heisserer (927), Dante W. Harper (916), Spiro Skentzos (856), Deborah Amelon (751), VJ Boyd (661) also ran. A total of 2,475 valid ballots were cast. The ballot count was supervised by Votenet Solutions.
“This vote represents the largest turnout in Guild Board election history, due in no small part to an outstanding group of candidates,” said WGA West president David A. Goodman. “I’m thrilled to welcome the new Board members, and I’m very gratified to see, more than ever, writers engaging to strengthen our union.”
The seats are for two-year terms. The president, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and eight other board seats will be up for election next year.
Verrone, best known for leading the 2007-08 strike, has extensive credits in animation on shows such as “Futurama.” Heisserer was nominated for an Academy Award in the adapted screenplay category for “Arrival.”
Two high-profile board members — “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner and “Walking Dead” showrunner Glen Mazzara — have opted not to seek re-election. Both were elected in 2016.
The WGA West is currently in a battle with Hollywood’s top talent agencies over what’s perceived by the guild as potential conflicts of interest due to the agencies moving aggressively moving into production — meaning that the same company represents the creative talent on one side of the table and is the employer on the other.
The WGA told members on April 6 that it had sent the Association of Talent Agents a 12-month notice to terminate the existing deal, known as the Artists’ Manager Basic Agreement, and has asked for extensive changes in how agents do business. The terms and conditions of the current agreement will remain in effect through April 6, 2019, but will expire if a new agreement is not reached.
No meetings have been set and leaders of the agencies have privately expressed frustration over what they say is an unwillingness by the WGA to meet informally on the issue.