×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Agencies Seek to Hold Key Court Hearing Before WGA Elections

The four major agencies asked a court on Monday to expedite a key hearing in the Writers Guild of America lawsuit, as the agencies seek to have portions of the case thrown out before the WGA’s internal elections in September.

The WGA and the unions are still waging a legal and public relations battle over agencies’ practice of collecting packaging fees, which the union sees as a glaring conflict of interest. The WGA instructed its members in April to fire their agents, after the agencies refused to sign on to a code of conduct forbidding the fees. The WGA also filed a lawsuit, seeking to have the fees invalidated under state law.

CAA, ICM Partners, WME and UTA are asking the court to dismiss aspects of the suit. Last week, Judge William Highberger set a hearing on the motions for Sept. 19. That date would come after the WGA West and WGA East union elections, which are set for Sept. 2-16 and Aug. 28-Sept. 19, respectively.

The agencies filed a motion on Monday asking Highberger to set the hearing for Aug. 27. If the agencies were to obtain a favorable ruling on that date, it could undermine the union leadership’s hardline approach to the issue and potentially influence the outcome of the guild elections.

The agencies had earlier asked for a Sept. 5 hearing, but the WGA’s attorneys had said it would be a violation of federal labor law to hold the hearing in the middle of the union election. Highberger set the hearing for Sept. 19, but invited the agencies to file a motion asking for an earlier date.

In the motion, the agencies called the union’s argument “entirely specious and contrary to existing federal law.”

“In any event, it was Plaintiffs’ choice to wield this lawsuit as a political cudgel,” the agencies’ attorney wrote. “As such, their argument that their First Amended Complaint should not face a judicial reckoning until mid-September, five months after Plaintiffs commenced this litigation, is unpersuasive.”

More Biz

  • Carlyle Group, Investors in Taylor Swift

    Carlyle Group, Investors in Taylor Swift Catalog, Address Scooter Braun Drama (Sort Of)

    Kewsong Lee, co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a private equity fund whose assets include a minority investment in Big Machine Label Group, the record company that’s home to Taylor Swift’s catalog, spoke to CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Wednesday. During the interview, held at the Goldman Sachs Financial Conference, host Wilfred Frost asked the business executive [...]

  • Mergers and Deals Placeholder

    Top 19 Media Trends of 2019: Mega Mergers

    Media consolidation has been rife in the past two years, as traditional media companies have scaled up in order to protect themselves against the new entrants challenging their business.  Traditional media has spent $229 billion since March 2018 on just six key mergers as rivals opted to combine their assets to compete in the new [...]

  • Conde Nast Deirdre Findlay Mike-Goss

    Condé Nast Names Former Google, Sotheby’s Execs to CMO and CFO Posts

    Condé Nast announced the appointments of Deirdre Findlay — previously a senior marketing exec at Google and Stitch Fix — as chief marketing officer, and Mike Goss, previously with auction house Sotheby’s, as chief financial officer. The hires are the latest reshuffling of Condé Nast’s senior leadership under CEO Roger Lynch, who joined the media [...]

  • Chris Cotton

    Comedian Chris Cotton Dies at 32

    Chris Cotton, a comedian best known for his online talk show “Every Damn Day,” died Thursday from unknown causes. He was 32. Comedy Central confirmed Cotton’s death in a tweet saying, “We’re devastated by the loss of Chris Cotton — a hilarious comedian, a beloved member of the Comedy Central family and a joy to [...]

  • Orlando Bloom

    Orlando Bloom Sets First-Look Deal With Amazon

    “Carnival Row” star Orlando Blook has inked a first-look deal with Amazon, Variety has learned. Under the deal, Bloom will develop television and film projects for Prime Video. Bloom currently stars on Amazon’s “Carnival Row” alongside Cara Delevigne. The series premiered back in August and was renewed for a second season ahead of the series premiere. The [...]

  • Grammy Awards 60th Annual Grammy Awards,

    Recording Academy Reveals Its Diversity Task Force Report, With Strong Calls for Reform

    Anyone wondering what the Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion has been doing for the past 18 months got their answer this morning in the form of the organization’s strongly worded, 47-page-long Final Report, which is now available on the Academy’s website. As its name states, the Task Force, helmed by former first [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content