Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on October 11, 2019.
The WGA East and West have filed a motion to dismiss a consolidated antitrust lawsuit brought by three of Hollywood’s biggest talent agencies – WME, CAA and UTA. That suit, which was filed in federal court in Los Angeles last month, alleges that “WGA leadership has engaged in an unprecedented abuse of union authority that has pushed their Guilds well beyond the protection of the labor exemptions. Their tactics are unlawful, and WGA’s outright bans on agency packaging and content affiliates do not serve any legitimate union interest.”
In their motion to dismiss the suit, the two branches of the writers guild said that “the three dominant Hollywood talent agencies” are engaged in an “attack” on their “federally approved role as the exclusive representative of writers in television and film, based on the Agencies’ disapproval of the unions’ good faith judgment about how to protect their members when delegating representational authority to individual talent agents.”
The WGA and the Association of Talent Agencies – with which the guild is no longer willing to bargain – have been at an impasse for six months over a new franchising agreement. A Code of Conduct implemented by the WGA on April 13 bans packaging fees for one year and prohibits agency affiliations with corporately related production entities. …