Agents for Artists

WGA Leadership Slammed By Ken Ziffren As Guild Election Nears; Legal Guru Says It Would Have Lost State Case With Big 4 Agencies

August 21, 2019

“Seeing the handwriting on the wall, two days ago the WGA dismissed without prejudice its state court case against the four agencies and simultaneously filed a counterclaim to the suit that was brought against three of the agencies for antitrust violations on the part of the guild,” Ken Ziffren said Wednesday as he laid out the battle between the WGA and […]

ICM Partners Claims “Victory” In WGA Legal Battle, Urges Guild To Return To Table; WGA President Says “The Ball Is In Their Court”

August 20, 2019

ICM Partners has accused the WGA of dropping the lawsuit it had filed in state court against the Big 4 talent agencies because “WGA leadership knew their lawsuit against the agencies was about to be found baseless and be dismissed.” The agency on Tuesday claimed the guild dropped the suit “instead of incurring that embarrassment right before their […]

Dissent in Ranks of Hollywood Writers Who Fired Their Agents

July 15, 2019

The two unions representing television and movie writers took a firm stance in April, when they instructed their members to fire their agents and sued the four biggest talent agencies in Hollywood. Now a faction of writers who belong to the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East are beginning to go public […]

No Deal Between WGA And Abrams Artists Agency

July 2, 2019

The Abrams Artists Agency was unable to reach a deal today with the WGA, despite chairman Adam Bold’s offer to forego packaging fees and any affiliation with related production entities. Bold spoke for about 20 minutes with WGA West executive director David Young, but they couldn’t come to an agreement. If Bold had agreed to […]

Writers Guild Rejects Abrams Artists Agency Offer to Drop Packaging Fees

July 2, 2019

The Writers Guild of America on Tuesday rejected an offer by Abrams Artists Agency to abide by key WGA terms, rebuffing the mid-tier agency’s attempt to break the stalemate that has paralyzed the representation business for almost three months and forced Abrams and its peers to stand by as the union battles the top agencies.

Phyllis Nagy Responds To David Young’s Scribes’ Petition Reply, Suggests Membership Vote On WGA’s Course Of Action – 2nd Update

June 21, 2019

2ND UPDATE, June 21: Oscar-nominated Carol screenwriter Phyllis Nagy has responded to WGA West executive director David Young in what has become a meaningful discussion of main issues stemming from the current standoff between the Writers Guild and the Association of Talent Agents. Nagy wrote the original June 17 letter to Young, signed by 20 […]

Writers Guild Negotiations Stall as Internal Tensions Mount

June 20, 2019

More than two months into the feud between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood’s top talent agencies, the WGA rejected the agencies’ latest offer, while distrust of guild leadership by its members wears down solidarity within the union.

WGA Lawsuit Put on Slow Track in Blow to Union

June 19, 2019

A judge on Wednesday ruled that the Writers Guild of America lawsuit against the major talent agencies is a “complex” case, likely postponing the day when it would get to trial.

ATA Says WGA “Is Not Interested In Making A Deal” As Standoff Continues

June 18, 2019

Saying that “this is not the way to get a deal done” and frustrated by the WGA’s lack of response to its last proposal for a new franchise agreement, the Association of Talent Agents’ negotiating committee said today that “it has become clear as more days pass that the guild is not interested in making a […]

Divisions in Writers Guild Stir as the Battle With Agents Drags on

June 11, 2019

The Writers Guild of America has flexed its considerable muscle in mounting the campaign to ban talent agencies from collecting packaging fees and expanding corporately into the production-distribution arena. But in doing so, the WGA has exacerbated long-simmering tensions among its members that could handicap future efforts to rally the scribe tribe around guild priorities, […]

WGA Writer Peter Landesman Rebukes Guild Chief David Young On “Optics” Of Chris Keyser/Endeavor Content Series Package

June 3, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: Concussion and Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House writer-director Peter Landesman has gone public with his frustration following an email sent to WGA members by WGA West executive director David Young. Young excoriated “a histrionic, biased trade press” after Deadline and Variety revealed that Chris Keyser, the former WGA West president who is WGA-Agency Agreement Negotiating Committee co-chair, is about to take […]

Read The Letter: Writers Implore WGA Leaders To Return To Bargaining Table With Agents

May 3, 2019

WGA leaders David Goodman and Chris Keyser have this week explained for Deadline readers the guild’s position driving its quest to eradicate Big 4 agency packaging and affiliated production companies. That doesn’t mean there aren’t working writers who believe that the strong point that has been made should be followed by a return to the […]

WGA Negotiator Chris Keyser Shopping Drama Series Produced By Endeavor Content

May 30, 2019

 The Association of Talent Agents just proposed a June 7 meeting between the full negotiating committees of WGA and ATAto restart talks on a new franchise agreement. The date might create a scheduling conflict for WGA-Agency Agreement Negotiating Committee co-chair Chris Keyser, the former president of WGA West.

As Writers Crowdsource Jobs, Some Could Land a Lawsuit Instead

May 30, 2019

Hollywood’s newly agentless scribes have had success finding work through hashtags like #WGAStaffingBoost, but sharing scripts might lead to a wave of idea theft litigation: “It could be a ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ situation.”

Writers and Agents Resume Talks After Guild Accepts UTA’s Offer

May 22, 2019

In the first sign of a thaw between warring parties, the Writers Guild of America on Wednesday night agreed to a request by UTA co-president Jay Sures to reopen talks between the guild and the Association of Talent Agents, more than a month after negotiations between writers and agencies failed in an effort to reach […]

Writers Guild starts to see some divisions

April 26, 2019

The union that represents Hollywood writers has been sparring with the town’s biggest talent agencies for almost 3 weeks now — over how deals are made and something called “packaging fees.” The Writers Guild strongly encouraged — some would say coerced — their members to fire their talent agents. And now some writers — a […]

The Fine Print: Why Smaller Agencies Won’t Sign WGA’s New Code Of Conduct

April 25, 2019

The main battle between the the WGA and the Association of Talent Agents, which represents the major talent agencies, has been over two thorny issues: packaging fees and agency-affiliated production companies. The issues do not impact most of the 234 guild’s franchised agencies, however. An estimated 94%-95% of the TV packages are controlled by the “Big 4” talent […]

Kyle Killen: As Writers Fire Agents, Rank-and-File Are Most at Risk (Guest Column)

April 21, 2019

The ‘Halo’ showrunner shares the termination letter he sent to WME: “I’m worried that the executive story editor who just tweeted his or her firing letter and is now seeking their next gig at a mixer or on a job board might be the one taking the real risk.” Kyle Killen is currently showrunner of Halo at […]

Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

April 20, 2019

Writer Shalom Auslander blasts WGA in ‘Official Coerced Termination Letter’ to CAA Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some […]

Agencies Call Writers’ Plan to Deputize and Pay Managers “Unlawful Conduct”

April 18, 2019

The skirmish over managers acting as agents escalated with the ATA promise to “evaluate its legal options.” The Association of Talent Agencies on Thursday sent a letter to its membership criticizing the Writers Guild of America for “unlawful conduct” — namely, attempting to induce managers and attorneys to violate the California Talent Agencies Act by […]

I Like My Agents—But I Fired Them Anyway

April 17, 2019

What will happen to me, a workaday writer, on the other side of the WGA mess? Last week, I completed my 20th week of a 20-week contract as executive story editor on an upcoming Netflix show: the live-action reboot of the anime series Cowboy Bebop. Don’t let the word executive in that title fool you; nothing about my […]

Writer Jon Robin Baitz Defies WGA Order to Fire Agent, Slams Guild Leadership

April 15, 2019

Outspoken playwright and TV writer Jon Robin Baitz has become the first WGA member to openly challenge the guild’s directive that members fire their talent agents. Baitz penned a letter to WGA leaders explaining his refusal to sever ties with his representatives at CAA, praising Bryan Lourd, Joe Cohen and others for sticking by him during bad […]

ATA Says It Will Fight WGA’s Attempts To Throw Industry Into “Abyss” Of “Chaos”

April 14, 2019

On Day Two of the battle between the WGA and Hollywood’s talent agencies, the Association of Talent Agencies said today that “our resolve has never been stronger,” and that “we’ll keep fighting as a united front…against the WGA leadership’s threat to our agency business operations.” In a message to her members, ATA executive director Karen Stuart accused guild leaders […]

Deputy Lawyer; WGA Tries Preemption Route in ATA Dispute

April 4, 2019

The ongoing dispute between the Writers’ Guild of America (“WGA”) and the Association of Talent Agencies (“ATA”) took a new turn recently when the WGA announced that it would use the authority granted to it under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) to “preempt” California state law and effectively “deputize” attorneys and managers to perform […]

Can the Writers Guild Turn a Manager into an Agent? Probably Not

March 27, 2019

The union’s move to delegate powers may run afoul of state law related to agencies. If the Writers Guild of America doesn’t come to terms with the major talent agencies by April 6, its members may soon fire their agents en masse. If that happens, the guild is suggesting to its writers that they should […]

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Agents for Artists is a website from the Association of Talent Agents created to keep writers and agents informed and up-to-date on what agencies are doing to reach a new agreement with the Writers Guild of America.