Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on June 28, 2019.
In a further ratcheting up of hostilities, the WGA on Friday sent the Association of Talent Agents a cease and desist letter, demanding that it stop its “anticompetitive behavior” and “comply with the document preservation demands outlined herein,” referring to a list of documents the guild wants preserved that it says will prove collusive behavior.
This latest action comes after WME and UTA separately sued the guild for engaging in an “illegal group boycott.”
“The agencies’ collusive agreements have caused tremendous financial harm to the guild’s members by artificially depressing the compensation paid to writers,” the guild’s attorneys, W. Stephen Cannon and Ethan E. Litwin, said in the nine-page letter (read it in full here) sent today to ATA executive director Karen Stuart. “Monies that would otherwise be paid to the writers are instead paid to the agencies as a packaging fee or otherwise left on the table. As a consequence, the agencies have wrongfully earned hundreds of millions of dollars by virtue of their illegal scheme. This financial cost to the guild’s members is not offset by the agencies’ practice of waiving its commission on packaged deals.” …