Gersh has reached an agreement with the Writers Guild of America on representing members of the guild, ending a nine-month standoff.
“Writers are vital to our industry, and Gersh has a long and proud history representing them,” co-presidents David Gersh and Bob Gersh said in a statement. “We are deeply committed to our writers and their interests, and appreciate their patience. We enthusiastically look forward to resuming our work on their behalf.”
WGA members were told in April to fire their agents if the agents had not agreed to bans on packaging fees and affiliate production. Gersh is joining more than 70 agencies allowed to represent WGA members.
A Gersh spokesperson refused to disclose details of its agreement with the WGA, which was announced Friday. The WGA’s negotiating committee told its members on Friday afternoon that packaging fees would be phased out for Gersh agents as of July 15, 2021. The WGA also said Friday that Gersh agents had represented more than 500 guild members prior to April.
“Our goal remains to move the negotiation process forward with the remaining unsigned agencies,” the WGA committee said. “We will keep you updated as progress is made.”
In a message to its clients, David and Bob Gersh said, “Thank you for your patience. Gersh has represented writers for over 70 years, helping to build and nurture some of the industry’s top literary talent. We are deeply committed to you and your interests and are eager to resume our work on your behalf.”
Gersh describes itself as the first “full-service” agency to sign on to the WGA rules. Five other mid-sized agencies — Abrams, Verve, Kaplan Stahler, Rothman Brecher and Buchwald — signed deals with the WGA in the months following the April 13 firings. CAA, UTA and WME sued the WGA and have consolidated their antitrust suits against the guild into a single action, accusing the union of engaging in an illegal group boycott. The guild has also filed its own countersuit, claiming the agencies are violating antitrust laws by negotiating solely through the Association of Talent Agents.