An Aggressive Writers Guild Sets Vote Targeting Talent Agents on March 25

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Jonathan Handel on February 20, 2019.

“We will negotiate with the agencies,” says WGA West president David Goodman, but ahead of a planned March 25 action, “there is no meaningful compromise where conflict of interest is concerned.”

Just a day after the Writers Guild of America and Association of Talent Agents held a meeting that an agency-oriented source described as “a step in the right direction” towards a negotiated renewal of the WGA-ATA agreement, the guild posted videoaudio, and text of a February 13 speech to members by the organization’s president that makes clear the union is now at war with the talent agency community, particularly the big four agencies.

“High-profile writers will be asked at a certain point to publicly state support for this campaign and their willingness to walk away from their agency as necessary,” said WGA West president David Goodman. “There may well be a struggle required and hardship for some of us.”

A negotiated agreement is unlikely, said Goodman, who said he would ask the membership to vote March 25 on a mandatory Code of Conduct for agents that would uproot large talent agencies’ current business models by prohibiting the packaging of films and television series and prohibiting production-type activities. The effect would be to split the ATA, with WGA members (and perhaps some individual agents) forced to move to smaller agencies while large agencies pondered what to do come April 6, when the current agreement expires. …

THR 2/20

About Jeffrey Burman 4165 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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