Writers Guild Steps Up Campaign Against Endeavor on Wall Street

The Writers Guild of America is accelerating its attack on Endeavor in the investment world as the parent company of WME prepares for an IPO later this year.

The WGA on Tuesday said it issued a bulletin to “potential investors” in Endeavor that details the state of the guild’s fight with Hollywood’s largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees and affiliated production and emphasizing the potential of litigation now in play to alter the landscape for large agencies. The WGA said it sent the letter to “hundreds of institutional investors, including hedge funds, mutual funds and pension plans, as well as investment advisors and industry analysts,” according to WGA West research director Laura Blum-Smith.

The WGA asserts that Endeavor’s “conflicted business practices” put the company at risk of losing substantial sources of profit at the guild wages war to eliminate the longstanding industry tradition of talent agencies receiving packaging fees on TV series and independent films from production entities.

“Endeavor is engaged in several conflicted business practices—namely the negotiation of direct payments from clients’ employers in the form of “packaging fees” and expansion into content production and employment of clients—which have led 1,400 television and film writer clients to leave the agency since April and prompted the filing of a lawsuit alleging violations of fiduciary duty and California’s Unfair Competition law,” the WGA stated in the bulletin titled “The Risks of Investing in Endeavor.”

Representatives for Endeavor and WME could not immediately be reached for comment. The WGA on Monday sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission challenging the number of clients that Endeavor stated it had in the prospectus that was filed with the SEC in late May, given that hundreds of writers have exited the agency amid the guild’s larger battle between Hollywood talent agencies. Endeavor disputed the WGA’s claim and stood by the prospectus statement that the company has more than 6,000 clients across WME and IMG.

“Once again, in an attempt to disrupt our business, WGA leadership is misrepresenting the facts,” Endeavor said in a statement on Monday. “Endeavor has clearly stated that it has ‘more than 6,000 clients’. This is not a static number given the fluidity of the client business, and is still accurate today even after the departure of our former writer clients.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein to Be Arraigned on New Indictment

    Harvey Weinstein is set to appear in court on Monday for an arraignment on a new indictment, the Manhattan D.A.’s office said Thursday. Prosecutors announced last week that they would seek a fresh indictment, which would allow actress Annabella Sciorra to testify at Weinstein’s trial. The move came after Justice James Burke ruled on Aug. [...]

  • AI Technology David Beckham

    How AI Tech Is Changing Dubbing, Making Stars Like David Beckham Multilingual

    David Beckham does not speak Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin. But when the soccer legend starred in a PSA for malaria awareness this spring, he effortlessly switched among these and six other languages, thanks to cutting-edge technology that could soon change how Hollywood localizes its movies and TV shows. The PSA in question was produced with technology [...]

  • Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Copyright

    Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Massive Copyright Infringement

    Eminem’s publishing company Eight Mile Style filed a major copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify late Thursday, claiming that the streaming giant has no license to host about 250 of Eminem’s songs, while also taking aim at the Music Modernization Act, the federal law enacted last year to improve royalty payments for songwriters. The news was [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Triples Free-Trial Period on Premium Service

    Spotify today extended the free-trial period for its Premium service from one month to three, tripling the amount of time listeners can take full advantage of the streaming giant’s offerings without paying for them. According to the announcement, the offer is “always-on/not limited time,” and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally: Individual and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content