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DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents

The Directors Guild of America will not tell hyphenate members — those belong to both the DGA and Writers Guild of America — to fire their agents.

A rep for the DGA responded Monday to Variety‘s request for comment on the issue. The WGA had told members on April 12 to fire their agents if the agent had not signed on the new Agency Code of Conduct, which includes bans on the collection of packaging fees and ownership of production companies. All major agencies have refused to comply.

But the WGA also said it could not require members to fire their agents for work such as directing and acting that is outside the jurisdiction of the WGA. Instead, the WGA said it encouraged members to “be represented for all your work by a franchised agency that is not conflicted.”

There’s little prospect for the resumption of negotiations between the WGA and the Association of Talent Agents for the collapse of talks on April 12.

The DGA, which shares hundreds of members with the WGA, said, “There are important issues that we are examining in the context of the DGA agency agreement. As our Franchise Agreement is currently in effect, we are not instructing hyphenate members to terminate their agents with respect to DGA-covered services at the present time.”

SAG-AFTRA has not responded to a request for comment about whether it will instruct members who also belong to the WGA to fire their agents. The performers union issued a strong statement of support on March 31, a few hours after the WGA announced that its members had voted overwhelmingly to support tightened restrictions on their agents. The vote was 7,882 in favor of creating a new Code of Conduct for agents representing WGA with 392 voting against.

“We congratulate the Writers Guild of America on their successful membership vote and applaud the Guild for taking steps in the best interests of their members,” SAG-AFTRA said at the time. “We stand with our sister union in the ongoing struggle to protect members in the entertainment industry.”

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