×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Writers Guild Removes Judge in Lawsuit Against Talent Agencies

The Writers Guild of America has removed the judge assigned to its lawsuit against Hollywood’s four major talent agencies, using its only preemptory challenge.

The WGA had asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marc Gross to voluntarily recuse himself from the case earlier this week but Gross refused, leading to the guild using its right to remove him on Friday.

Gross, who serves in the Santa Monica Superior Courthouse, had been assigned to handle the WGA’s lawsuit against WME Entertainment, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners. The guild is seeking to block the agencies from accepting packaging fees from studios, which the guild alleges violates the agencies’ fiduciary duty to clients.

Gross is married to Susan Gross, who most recently was a consultant at Media Strategies International. Prior to that, she worked for three years as an executive vice president at FremantleMedia North America. Her resume also includes stints at Endeavor Talent Agency, TNT, and Graham King’s GK-TV.

In a letter to the court on April 30, WGA attorney P. Casey Pitts notes that Endeavor has since merged to form WME, one of the defendants in the suit. Pitts also cited Susan Gross’ experience at GK-TV and TNT as a potential source of conflict, noting that under the WGA’s theory, TV producers that pay packaging fees to agencies could be liable for violations of state law.

The suit was filed April 17 by the WGA and eight individual writers, including David Simon, creator of “The Wire,” “The Deuce” and “Homicide: Life on the Streets.” Other plaintiffs are Meredith Stiehm, Barbara Hall, Patti Carr, Ashley Gable, Deric Hughes, Chip Johannessen, and Deirdre Mangan.

 

More Film

  • shanghai skyline China Placeholder

    Shanghai: Tencent, Phoenix Win Rights to Taiwan Documentary 'Love Talk' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tencent has acquired the online video streaming rights and Phoenix Hong Kong the TV rights to Taiwanese documentary “Love Talk,” which takes a deep dive into the topic of marriage. The film is currently working towards a mainland theatrical release. Directed by Shen Ko-Shang (“A Rolling Stone”), it is produced by CNEX Studio and 7th [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth (H) with Em (Tessa

    China Box Office: ‘Men In Black’ Makes $26 Million Debut, ‘Phoenix’ Falls

    “Men In Black: International” made a lukewarm start in Chinese theaters. It scored $25.8 million over the weekend, according to data from Artisan Gateway, to claim top spot ahead of Chinese-made “My Best Summer.” The Chinese gross of the “Men in Black” spinoff was not that far short of the film’s North American debut, which [...]

  • Yao Chen

    Xiamen Woos Film Industry, Becomes New Home of Golden Rooster Festival

    China’s government-led Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival has found a permanent home in Fujian province’s coastal city of Xiamen, starting from this year, municipal representatives said Monday at a Shanghai Intl. Film Festival press conference. “Xiamen has the confidence and the perseverance to be up to the task,” said Dai Zhiwang, the assistant [...]

  • TheReturn press launch at Shanghai Film

    Qin Hailu's 'The Return' Makes Emotional Debut at Shanghai Festival

    “This is the final film that seals my acting career,” said 95-year-old Chinese actor Chang Feng, of “The Return,” which plays this week in competition at the Shanghai International Film Festival. “The director, the screenwriter, and the entire crew have put so much heart into this film, I hope it wins the award.” The film [...]

  • Dami Im and Bong Joon-Ho'Parasite' premiere,

    ‘Parasite’ Wins Sydney Film Festival

    “Parasite,” the South Korean black drama that previously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, was Sunday named as the winner of the Sydney Film Festival. After collecting a cash prize of A$60,000 ($41,200), at Sydney’s State Theatre, “Parasite” director said: “This Festival is really amazing, especially the audience…really special and extraordinary. This is the most [...]

  • China Film Group's Jiang Ping

    Shanghai: China Studio Chiefs Debate Winter Chills and U.S. Rivalry

    The Shanghai International Film Festival pulled off the impressive feat of assembling leading executives from seven of China’s top film studios. Their discussion focused on the problems that have recently beset the production sector and the industry’s relationship with Hollywood. “The film industry achieved great things in 2018, but it was also the year that [...]

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping claps while

    Propaganda Films to Dominate Chinese Theaters in Anniversary Year

    A presentation at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday shed light on the welter of propaganda films that will compete with Hollywood blockbusters for the attention of Chinese cinema goers in the second half of this year. This year is laden with political significance for China’s ruling Communist Party. It is 100 years since [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content