The WGA has made a new offer to Hollywood’s talent agencies – they can continue packaging and taking packaging fees on films and TV shows for one more year before switching over to a 10% commission model – a business model that hasn’t existed in decades.
The WGA last week had declared an impasse in the negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents, and offered to meet separately with the nine biggest agencies — all of whom refused to meet with the guild.
“The guild remains determined to move the negotiation process forward,” the WGA negotiating committee told the guild’s members tonight. “Therefore, today we sent a new proposal to each formerly-franchised agency and reiterated our offer to meet to discuss any concerns they might have. The new proposal has significant changes from the last formal proposal they received, including:
* To address agency concerns, we are offering a contract instead of a Code of Conduct, giving either party the right to re-open the agreement with at least 90 days’ notice prior to its termination date, as is traditional.
* We clarified the agency can represent producers (including PODS) that do not employ writers, a change resulting from conversations during negotiations with Verve.
* We simplified the agency requirement of notice to the WGA of writer commencement by allowing them to copy the WGA on invoices.
* Most importantly: In order to transition to a 10% commission model, our new sunset clause allows the agency to continue to make packaging agreements for one year.
See the new proposal here.
“We are making this offer despite the fact that every one of the eight member agencies of the ATA ‘bargaining’ committee has rejected the offer we made last week to meet individually and discuss this new proposal,” the guild said. “UTA has joined WME and filed its own lawsuit accusing the Writers Guild of engaging in, of all things, an antitrust violation. But make no mistake – writers are in no fashion intimidated by these actions; tomorrow we will inform you of the guild’s response to the agencies’ lawsuits and collusive behavior.”
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