Agents for Artists News

Read the latest news and hear directly from writers and experts who have shared their individual thoughts and opinions on the state of the issues.

Publication
August 21, 2019

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

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“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 […]

Publication
August 20, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
July 15, 2019

Dissent in Ranks of Hollywood Writers Who Fired Their Agents

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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 […]

Publication
July 2, 2019

No Deal Between WGA And Abrams Artists Agency

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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 […]

Publication
July 2, 2019

Writers Guild Rejects Abrams Artists Agency Offer to Drop Packaging Fees

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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.

Publication
June 21, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
June 11, 2019

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

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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, […]

Publication
June 3, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
May 22, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
May 20, 2019

“You got Verve” Scriptnotes Podcast

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John and Craig introduce a new segment: The Scriptnotes Pitch Session! They listen to five listeners’ 90-second pitches and share their feedback on substance and style. We also discuss the implications of Verve signing the WGA agreement and get special insight on an important creative decision in Chernobyl. Join us for our live show in […]

Publication
May 3, 2019

Writers Slam Guild’s ‘Belligerent’ Tactics in Agency Battle: ‘You Cannot Coerce Solidarity’

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With the Writers Guild of America locked in a bitter standoff with Hollywood agents, three high-profile screenwriters have slammed the severity of the WGA’s tactics. The letter, addressed to WGA leaders, was written by Brandon Camp, Peter Landesman and Phyllis Nagy. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents saw talks crater on April 12 over efforts to revamp […]

Publication
April 26, 2019

Writers Guild starts to see some divisions

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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 […]

Publication
April 25, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
April 20, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
April 18, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
April 17, 2019

I Like My Agents—But I Fired Them Anyway

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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 […]

Publication
April 15, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
April 14, 2019

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

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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 […]

Publication
April 4, 2019

Deputy Lawyer; WGA Tries Preemption Route in ATA Dispute

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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 […]

Publication
March 27, 2019

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

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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.