WGA West Unveils Candidates for Election That Reflects Discord Over Agency Campaign

The WGA West has unveiled the slate of candidates for officer posts and board seats in the election that reflects the divisions among members over the guild’s handling of the campaign to reform its rules governing talent agents.

Scribes Phyllis Nagy (“Carol”) and William Schmidt (“Yellowstone”) are set to challenge David Goodman for the president’s post. Nagy and Schmidt have been vocal in her opposition to the guild’s reform campaign that led to more than 7,000 WGA members firing their agents in April.

The guild has been in a standoff with the largest talent agencies since then, although two boutique operations have signed on to the WGA’s new terms. Goodman, elected in 2017, has been a key face of the agency effort along with WGA West executive director David Young.

The higher volume of candidates for board seats this time around surely is a byproduct of the agency discord. This year, 21 candidates vying against incumbents and newcomers for eight seats up for re-election. Last year there were 13 candidates for eight open seats; in 2017, there were 11 contenders.

This year’s list of candidates, presented in an order determined by lot per WGA West rules, are: Meredith Stiehm (inc.), Ed Herro, Zoe Marshall, Mike Mariano, Liz Alper, Rasheed Newson, Luvh Rakhe (inc.), Nicole Yorkin (inc.), Angelina Burnett (inc.), Nicholas Kazan, Ashley Edward Miller, Sarah Treem, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Ayelet Waldman, Courtney A. Kemp, Jason Fuchs, Robb Chavis, Dante W. Harper, Rob Forman, Chris Roessner, Marc Guggenheim.

Candidates running for vice president against incumbent Marjorie David are Carl Gottlieb and Craig Mazin.  Up for Secretary-Treasurer are Nick Jones, Jr., Evette Vargas and Michele Mulroney.

In her candidate’s statement, Nagy identified Mazin and Jones as candidates that share her view that the guild needs to push for a negotiated settlement with the talent agencies in the battle that has erupted into litigation in state and federal court. She identified Guggenheim, Kazan, Kemp, Miller, Newson, Treem and Waldman as like-minded candidates for board seats.

“We won’t reach a resolution with stalemates, entrenched thinking, a reliance on lawsuits that may or may not resolve in our favor after years of litigation, and a refusal to talk to the other side. Of that much, I am convinced,” Nagy said in her candidate’s statement.

The guild will host its traditional Candidates Night forum on Aug. 28. Given the fiery debates that the agency campaign has stirred via social media among writers and other industry insiders, the election forum could produce some fireworks. Voting in the election via online and mail-in ballots will close at noon PT on Sept. 16.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    Sean Penn Drama 'The First' Was 'Unrelatable' to British Audiences, Channel 4 Exec Says

    Channel 4’s director of programs Ian Katz says the British broadcaster has learned a good lesson from the failure last year of its big-budget Hulu co-production “The First” to resonate with U.K. audiences. Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Katz described the Sean Penn-starring drama about a mission to Mars as a “really classy piece [...]

  • Hugh Laurie

    Hugh Laurie to Star in New BBC Thriller 'Roadkill' by David Hare

    Hugh Laurie, the Golden Globe-winning star of “House” and “The Night Manager,” will play a beleaguered politician in a new four-part thriller for the BBC, “Roadkill,” from acclaimed playwright and screenwriter David Hare. The series is being produced by The Forge (“Collateral”). Laurie stars as Peter Laurence, a charismatic Conservative Party government minister who remains [...]

  • Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth WarrenSecond 2020

    ABC News Sets Moderators, Rules for Third Democratic Debate

    ABC News has announced the moderators for the third Democratic debate, as well as the qualification rules. The debate will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, and will spill over to Friday, Sept. 13 if more than 10 candidates qualify. The moderating team will consist of chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” anchor and [...]

  • James Corden Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke

    James Corden Got a Little Help From Paul McCartney on His Drive to the Emmys

    Saying “Baby, I could drive your car” has proven to be a very good strategy for James Corden — never more so than when he put Paul McCartney into the highly sought passenger seat. The primetime special “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney, Live From Liverpool” is a contender in five Emmy categories this year, [...]

  • Starz Logo

    Starz Orders Horror Comedy Pilot 'Shining Vale'

    Starz has put out a pilot order for “Shining Vale,” a horror comedy which hails from “Divorce” creator Sharon Horgan and “Trial & Error” co-creator Jeff Astrof. The prospective series is about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one [...]

  • Bethenny Frankel at the showtime Emmy

    Bethenny Frankel to Exit 'Real Housewives of New York' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bethenny Frankel is stepping away from the “Real Housewives” franchise. Variety has learned exclusively that Frankel is poised to exit Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York” ahead of its upcoming twelfth season. Frankel first joined the acclaimed reality series back when it premiered back in 2008 before exiting the series in 2010 during the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content