Adam McKay, who earned Oscar nominations for producing, directing and writing “Vice,” has pledged that he will shun packaging fees and language in future deals.
McKay has been at the center of controversy within the Writers Guild of America West elections following his Aug. 9 assertion that public dissent over guild’s hardline stance on Hollywood agents was counterproductive.
Jason Fuchs, who’s part of the Writers Moving Forward dissident group, published an essay in response titled “Dissent is Not Disloyalty: A Rebuttal to Adam McKay.” The dissidents want the WGA to return to the bargaining table with the Big Four agencies as soon as possible.
McKay, who earned a screenwriting Oscar and directing nomination for “The Big Short,” said in a Tweet published Tuesday, “After some great discussions with fellow WGA members I’m making the commitment to no packaging fees for my work as a director and will include no packaging language in any future overhead deals as a producer.”
McKay’s executive producing credits on television include HBO’s “Succession.” The issue of packaging fees, under which agents are paid fees by the studio instead of commissioning their clients, is a critical part of the stalemate between the WGA and the agencies.
The guild is claiming that such fees are illegal and has sued CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners. That’s resulted in countersuits by CAA, WME and UTA, alleging that the guild is violating antitrust laws.
There are 17 candidates for eight open board seats in a contest that’s viewed as a referendum on the WGA’s hard-nosed approach versus more accomodating tactics. Election results will be announced on Sept. 16.