Representatives of the Writers Guild of America and Association of Talent Agents are expected to meet today as they try to hammer out a compromise on a new agency franchise agreement.
A meeting today would mark the third face-to-face session for WGA and ATA reps in the past four days. The sides were up against a midnight PT April 6 contract expiration deadline, but an eleventh-hour gathering on that day led to the WGA agreeing to delay the implementation of its new Agency Code of Conduct until Friday.
The sides are trying to avoid the disruption of having thousands of WGA members fire their agents en masse. The guild has vowed to implement its new Code if it can’t reach a deal with the ATA on a new agency franchise agreement. The guild has taken aim at the longstanding industry practice of talent agencies receiving packaging fees on TV series and film projects that are paid by production entities, along with WME, CAA and UTA having invested in production companies in recent years.
Hollywood’s largest agencies, represented by the ATA, have balked at the guild’s Code of Conduct reforms. The situation looked to be devolving into finger-pointing and lawsuits late last week.
Sources close to the situation said the sides had a productive session on Monday afternoon at WGA West headquarters. It’s understood that the ATA presented the guild with information and proposals regarding the contentious issues on the table. The fact that another sit-down session is coming so soon was viewed as a positive sign by observers.