The American Writers' Guild announced a six-day delay in introducing harsh rules for Hollywood agents, temporarily diverting a potentially chaotic scenario that has hurt the industry in recent days.
The WGA announced in a message to members of the 9:26 pm Pacific Time on Saturday that it will wait until 12:01 on April 13 to implement its new Code of Conduct. The rules that would require WGA members to release their agents if they did not sign the code would go to a few hours at 12:01 on Sunday.
This move took place after a three-hour meeting between guild leaders and talented agents a few hours on Saturday afternoon, the WGA negotiating committee reports. The meeting at WGA West's headquarters in Los Angeles was kept in wrappings, and many of them came across an unexpected reaction when a delay was announced with the introduction of the WGA code. Neither party disclosed the specifics of apparent compromises.
WGA was republished by David Young, executive director of WGA in the West, demos by David Shore and Mike Shur and screenwriter Michelle Malrun. The agencies include Rick Rosen (WME), Rick Rosen, Brian Lourdes of the CAA, James Gosnell APA and Karen Stewart, Executive Director of the Association of Talent Agencies. Gosnell is the president of the ATA.
"We had a frank and open conversation, and for the first time the agencies recognized the depth of the problem that their behavior caused," – said the committee of the RSA. "At this meeting, they asked us to postpone the implementation of the Code by the end of the day, on April 12th, so that they could submit proposals for solving these problems and reaching a settlement"
The Code of Conduct, which at the end of March WGA members were approved the overwhelming majority of WGA members, requiring agencies to agree to the removal of fees for television packaging and the interests of owners in manufacturing companies – the claims that the agents claimed were not feasible. The WGA claims that practice leads to conflicts of interest and threatens to sue several times against CAA, WME, UTA and ICM partners.
Saturday's meeting between the two parties took place after seven official talks between February 5 and 5. March 26th mostly unproductive. In WGA and ATA there is almost no inclination to compromise. But at a Saturday session, WGA executives have faced a growing concern in Hollywood that wholesale agent bouts will lead to widespread shocks. By doing this, we fulfill our commitment to you – and the language of your permission – that we use our best judgment as to the right time to move. But the midnight, which the agencies themselves proposed, is a real term. Unless we have an agreed deal, the WGAW Council and the WGAE Council voted that the Code of Conduct will come into force at 12:01 on Saturday, April 13. From that moment on, diplomacy can continue with powerful collective actions. "
The Committee also noted that agents should begin to offer significant compromises in their positions, rather than wait until Saturday.
last week, "the group said. "Instead, real negotiations begin now, as usual, with a ticking clock. It is your power – membership in the government – and your willingness to use it – have led us so far. Conflict practices and inappropriate financial incentives have gone through our relationship with our representatives for too long. We sincerely hope that agencies will now become our true partners in joint efforts to cope with both words. "
Stewart said in a statement to his members on Saturday night that the agents initiated an informal meeting with WGA to discuss the way and the process to move forward. in talks
"Today, a small group of ATA and WGA representatives met several hours from a wide range of issues that are important both for writers and agents," she added. "Tonight, we mutually agreed to continue the suspension of our existing agreement by 12 April and were obliged to meet regularly this week in our ongoing efforts to create a resolution that is responsive to the interests of your businesses and your customers. Meanwhile, I continue to welcome your thoughts and look forward to meeting you on Wednesday, where we will inform you about it.
The day before, Stuart rejected the latest WGA proposals, arguing that they would give the RGA authority over the business operations of the agencies and "unprecedented level of control" to dictate the agency's operations.
The WAS officially informed ATA a year ago because it wants to reopen the negotiations on the Artist Managers' Main Agreements, which regulates how agents represent WGA members, creating a 12-month expiration calendar. The Guild was increasingly worried that VAA, WME and UTA were moving into production, as well as potential conflicts of interest that arise when one company presents creative talent on one side of the table and is an employer on the other.