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Beau Willimon Running Unopposed for Re-Election as President of Writers Guild East

Beau Willimon, the playwright and showrunner who launched Netflix’s “House of Cards,” is running unopposed for re-election to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America East.

Willimon also ran unopposed in 2017 to succeed Michael Winship. The WGA East announced a total of 24 candidates Thursday for its top officer posts and Council seats. Results will be announced Sept. 20.

The announcement comes with the WGA locked in a heated standoff with Hollywood agents over the issues of how agents represent WGA members. The guild required on April 13 that members fire their agents if the agents had not signed a Code of Conduct, which bans agents from taking packaging fees and prohibits agencies from owning production affiliates.

Willimon has been criticized for working last year with Endeavor Content, an affiliate of WME, on the Hulu drama “The First,” which was canceled after one season. WGA West executive director David Young has blasted news media accounts of a similar deal about negotiating committee co-chair Christopher Keyser shopping a new series co-produced by Endeavor Content. Both the Willimon and Keyser deals were set up before April 13.

Kathy McGee and Phil Pilato are the candidates for vice president as Jeremy Pikser opted not to seek re-election. Secretary-Treasurer Bob Schneider is running unopposed.

Five incumbents are seeking re-election to the six open freelance seats, including David Simon, who is a plaintiff in the California lawsuit filed April 17 against CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners alleging that collecting packaging fees is illegal. Simon wrote a galvanizing post in March over the issue of packaging, accusing the agencies of theft and fraud.

The other incumbents for the freelance seats are Bonnie Datt, Courtney Simion, Amy Sohn and Tracey Scott Wilson. Other candidates are Melissa London Hilfers, Andy Rheingold, Anya Epstein, Gina Gionfriddo, Hilary Bettis, Josh Gondelman, Larry Cohen, Dru Johnston, David Angelo, Bash Doran and Stuart Zicherman.

Pilato is also seeking re-election to his staff seat on the council along with incumbents Kim Kelly and Hamilton Nolan for the three open seats. Shereen Mohammad is also seeing a seat.

The WGA East has about 5,000 members working in films and TV. It has managed in recent years to organize an array of staffs at New York-based news web sites, including the Huffington Post, Slate and ThinkProgress.

The WGA West is also conducting an election for officers and its board of directors but has not yet announced the candidates.

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