×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Abrams Artists Agency Offers to Stop Packaging Fees in Writers Guild Dispute

Abrams Artists Agency has offered to accept Writers Guild of America’s key requirements in order to return to representing WGA members again, three months after the bitter dispute began.

According to an Abrams spokesperson, the agency will stop taking packaging fees and not to engage in affiliate production if it can represent WGA members. The offer is conditional, in that Abrams won’t sign the WGA Code of Conduct due to the code’s requirements about information sharing. The WGA has not yet responded.

The WGA directed its members on April 12 to fire their agents following the major agencies’ refusal to sign onto a new Code of Conduct, which bars the agencies from collecting packaging fees and from owning interests in production companies. Five days later, the WGA and eight members sued CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners, alleging the agencies have been acting illegally in collecting packaging fees.

The union argues that the fees create an unlawful conflict of interest and it’s persuaded about 70 smaller agencies to sign the code. Verve, which has about 30 agents, agreed to the Code on May 16 and is by far the most prominent agency to sign on. Abrams has about 65 agents.

The WGA has been hit by a trio of suits by CAA, WME and UTA alleging that the guild is abusing its collective bargaining authority. The WGA has brushed off the suits and sent a cease-and-desist letter on June 28 to the Association of Talent Agents and the top eight agencies, accusing them of having engaged in “collusive actions that constitute unlawful restraints of trade” under the Sherman Act including collusion and price-fixing.

Negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents have been futile, collapsing twice — first on April 12 and again on June 7. WGA West president David Goodman announced on June 20 that the guild would only negotiate with WME, CAA, UTA, ICM Partners, Paradigm, Gersh, APA, Rothman Brecher and Kaplan Stahler. None of the agencies have done so, insisting that they will only bargain through the ATA.

Abrams is a member of the ATA. The ATA has not responded to a request for comment about the Abrams offer.

More TV

  • 'Watchmen' Boss Damon Lindelof on Building

    'Watchmen' Boss Damon Lindelof on Building an Alternate America

    In the fourth season of PBS’ “Finding Your Roots,” musician Questlove learns his ancestors came over to America on the very last slave ship in 1860. Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., who hosts the show shows him the ship manifest and tells him about the settlement in which they lived, and the musician begins to [...]

  • Kids' Programming Will Be a Battleground

    Why Kids' Programming Will Be a Major Battleground in the Streaming Wars

    When “Moana” left Netflix on Dec. 20, parents of little kids let out a collective wail of despair on Twitter and Facebook parenting groups everywhere. The phrase “ruined Christmas” was pointedly used in the streamer’s direction — sometimes facetiously, sometimes with the reflected ire of a preschooler who had awakened one morning to find her [...]

  • Wendy Williams Walk of Fame Honor

    Wendy Williams on Being 'Imortalized' With Walk of Fame Honor

    Just days after Wendy Williams learned she’d be receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the talk show host was in true form imagining how this honor would elevate her already storied career. “I’m already in the Smithsonian, so now I’ll be immortalized-immortalized,” Williams says. In addition to preparing for her star ceremony, [...]

  • Julia Garner

    'Ozark' Star Julia Garner Signs First-Look Deal With MRC Television

    “Ozark” producer Media Rights Capital (MRC) Television has entered into a first-look deal with series star Julia Garner. Under the deal, Garner will work with MRC to develop and produce television projects. She recently won the Emmy Award for best supporting actress in a drama for her work on the third season of “Ozark,” which [...]

  • DEPUTY: Stephen Dorff in DEPUTY, premiering

    Stephen Dorff’s Fox Drama ‘Deputy’ Lands International Deals (EXCLUSIVE)

    As the curtain comes down on Mipcom, Entertainment One has sealed the first international deals on “Deputy,” the modern-day Western procedural that will be on Fox in the U.S. Fox has acquired the show for its channels in Portugal and Turkey. In Belgium, Telenet has pre-bought the show. Entertainment One is distributing and the series [...]

  • Greg Kinnear Little Men

    Greg Kinnear Joins ‘The Stand’ at CBS All Access

    The cast of “The Stand” at CBS All Access keeps getting starrier. Greg Kinnear is the latest name to sign on for the Stephen King adaptation, joining Alexander Skarsgard, James Marsden, Amber Heard, and Whoopi Goldberg, among others. “The Stand” presents an apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content