Writers Guild Plans for Agency Pact Expiration: ‘There Will Be Difficult Moments’

Variety | 3/26/2019 | Dave McNary
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Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent members contingency plans for the possible expiration of its agency franchise agreement on April 7 — and admitted that it may be a rocky road.

Members received the letter Tuesday from the guild’s negotiating committee as the WGA and agents were about the hold their seventh negotiating session. It began, “While we continue to work toward a negotiated agreement with the Association of Talent Agents prior to the expiration date of the agency agreement we must simultaneously continue with contingency planning.”

Plan - Letter - Agents - Moments - Goal

“We have a plan,” the letter continued. “We know we cannot replace agents. There will be difficult moments. But our goal is to get through staffing season and whatever period of time it takes to make a fair deal with the agencies.”

“Our industry will not grind to a halt. Studios and producers will still need writers,” the committee added. “Writers on staff and working on projects will still go to work. Feature scripts will still get sold, and TV shows will still get staffed. Our ideas and our words will still have enormous value, and the work we all love to do will continue.”

WGA - Link - Q - A - WGA

The WGA then included a link with an extensive Q&A for the 15,000 WGA members. For example, it asked the question: “How do I leave my agents? Do I have to call them up and personally fire them?”

The response was: “No, you don’t need to communicate with your agency directly, unless you want to. This is a collective action by Guild members. All you have to do is electronically sign a form terminating your representation agreement. The Guild will deliver the terminations to the agency in a group. The Guild has prepared a standard termination form which will be available on the website and activated if and when necessary...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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