×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

WGA: 92% of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92% of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives.

Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday. Many writers are believed to have personally communicated their intentions to step away from agents until they resolve their beef with the WGA, which declared war with the Association of Talent Agencies last week over packaging fees.

The memo was one in an endless volley between the guild and the Association of Talent Agencies this week. The former sued the latter on Monday, alleging violation of state and federal law in the agency practice of recouping packaging fees on films and series written by their own clients.

The ATA has echoed numerous times that the WGA is bent on sending show business into chaos by interrupting dealmaking, a move the WGA called fear-mongering in the Thursday note.

“That’s their biggest weapon: to spread undue fear and try to intimidate as many people around town as possible,” the memo read.

Only hours before the WGA memo, the ATA sent a missive out to its own membership — which includes monolithic talent shops like CAA, WME, UTA and ICM — decrying the WGA’s plan to utilize personal managers and lawyers to procure new work while they battle it out with agents. The call to terminate agents came from the WGA on April 12, when the majors refused to sign a code of conduct that included the packaging fee issue.

Read the full memo from the guild.

Dear Members,

First: thank you. As writers it has been a stressful week for many of us. The agencies have reacted to the terminations by alleging the result will be chaos. That’s their biggest weapon: to spread undue fear and try to intimidate as many people around town as possible. We hope you saw our response to the threats made to attorneys and managers, as well as the lawsuit the Guild filed yesterday.

Here’s where we’re at on official notification to the agencies: over 92% of the members who signed the Statement of Support have already fulfilled their pledge and signed letters terminating their unfranchised agencies. So have several thousand other writers.

For those who haven’t yet done so: follow this link to e-sign and join them.

While we’d planned to deliver the letters tomorrow, the agencies are closed either all or part of the day due to the holiday. So instead the Guild will deliver the termination letters to the agencies en masse on Monday.

Members who are represented by agencies not signed to the Code of Conduct must e-sign the letter. There are several reasons for this: first, it protects you against any legal claim an agent may make that they deserve a commission on new work you acquire during this period. Second, it is unimpeachable evidence against agency claims that our members voted one way and acted another. It is a clear and powerful show of solidarity by writers – to each other and to the agencies. Because in solidarity – and only in solidarity – can we bring this campaign to its swiftest, successful conclusion. Of course, in addition to the e-sign, members can send individual letters directly to their agent.

This link takes you directly to the sign-in page. We want everyone to have the chance to get theirs in by Sunday night to be part of this group delivery.

In closing, less than one week in, the Guild is strong and steady. It is inspiring to see and hear how members are supporting each other both publicly and privately. We’ll be in touch again very soon.

In Solidarity,

WGA-Agency Agreement Negotiating Committee

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Lower lakes with small waterfalls, Plitvice

    Beta Film Boards Refugee and Drug Trafficking Thriller Series 'Amnesia'

    Beta Film, whose Mipcom lineup includes “Agent Hamilton,” “Babylon Berlin” and “Medici: The Magnificent,” has partnered with Croatian production company Drugi Plan on “Amnesia,” a six-hour thriller series about refugee and drug trafficking in the Southeast of Europe. The move adds to Munich, Germany-based Beta Film’s portfolio of Central and East European series, a growing [...]

  • Reed Hastings seen on day one

    Reed Hastings on the Streamer Wars: 'It's a Whole New World Starting in November'

    After dominating the subscription streaming scene for so long, Netflix is girding for a new phase in the SVOD wars with the entry of more deep-pocketed players like Disney and Apple, CEO Reed Hastings said Friday. “While we’ve been competing with many people in the last decade, it’s a whole new world starting in November…between [...]

  • BBC ITV BritBox Streaming

    Viacom's Channel 5 and Comedy Central Join BritBox Ahead of Its U.K. Launch

    Viacom-owned Channel 5 and Comedy Central have joined BritBox, the “best-of-British” subscription streaming service created by the BBC and ITV. The platform, already available in North America, is due to launch on home turf in Britain by year’s end. Under the deal with Viacom, shows from the U.K.’s Channel 5 can appear on BritBox following [...]

  • The-Head

    Behind the Scenes With Mediapro’s Antarctic Thriller Series 'The Head'

    On Sept. 13, the cast and crew of Mediapro’s upcoming dramatic thriller “The Head” gathered at a swanky Santa Cruz de Tenerife hotel to kick off promotional duties for this English-language series, which will wrap shooting later this month. It was day 50 of production, and the cast had been working late, rushing to get [...]

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has a Name: Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film finally has a name: Leonine. The company revealed its moniker Friday, saying that “Leonine” met its criteria of being associated with its home region of Bavaria and Munich, in southern Germany, and of [...]

  • PERFECT LIFE

    San Sebastian: Leticia Dolera on Canneseries Winner ‘Perfect Life’

    SAN SEBASTIAN —  “La Casa de Papel” (“Money Heist”) may be the most seen of Spanish series this year. Leticia Dolera’s still-to-bow “Perfect Life,” however, is the most laureled, sweeping at April’s 2nd Canneseries TV festival both best series and best special performance for its female leads, Dolera herself, Celia Freijeiro and Aixa Villagrán, from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content