Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on February 14, 2020.
WGA president David Goodman told members Friday that the guild has had “substantive discussion with all but one” of the five biggest talent agencies about making deals that could end the guild’s 10-month battle over packaging fees, adding that “those we have spoken to have said directly to me they would like to make a deal.” He didn’t say which of the five agencies has refused to talk.
In his latest message to the writers guild’s members, Goodman said the guild continues to “place pressure” on the holdouts who refuse to sign its franchise agreement “by pursuing the lawsuit, by negotiating with the smaller agencies, and by withholding their ability to represent writers. The goal remains in sight: to realign all our representatives’ financial interests with their writer clients by ending packaging fees and curtailing agency ownership of production.”
The guild is currently in a legal battle with three of the biggest agencies – WME, CAA and UTA – in which both sides accuse the other of antitrust practices. Goodman also disputed “rumors” that many writers have returned to their unsigned agents, and challenged the notion that the battle with the agencies has weakened the guild going into its talks with the major studios and production companies for a new film and TV contract. …