Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on November 13, 2019.
The Abrams Artists Agency has signed the WGA’s Code of Conduct, making it the third mid-tier agency to break ranks with the Association of Talent Agents and sign the code since the guild ordered all of its members seven months ago to fire their agents who refused to sign it. The code bans packaging fees after one year and prohibits agency affiliations with related production entities.
Abrams says it signed after negotiating new terms with the guild about audits and client confidentiality – issues that have reportedly kept several other mid-tier agencies from signing even though they that don’t do much packaging or have any production affiliations. Abrams now joins three other ATA member companies that have broken ranks with the ATA: Buchwald and Kaplan Stahler, which signed in July – and Pantheon, a small agency that signed months before talks broke off with the ATA on June 7.
The Verve agency, which is not an ATA member, signed on May 16.
“The writers had elections, and they overwhelmingly reelected David Goodman, one of the leaders of this strategy,” said Abrams chairman Adam Bold, who had come close to a deal with the guild at least once before. “We feel that it is time to put the writers back to work, as well as our agents. The code of conduct as it stands now, is a much better document than it was before. For that reason, along with some of our negotiated changes, made it an agreement that we can stand behind.” …