“I would like to add that the following consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on our industry have made this new franchise agreement much more acute for us,” he added. “When we started our negotiations with WGA leaders, we couldn`t imagine how the world would change, but we are fortunate to be able to play our part now if we face these new challenges.” That means the WGA is on the verge of winning a battle that began in April 2019, when WGA West President David Goodman told guild members to fire their agents if they did not sign a code of conduct banning packaging and other practices. It remains to be seen whether the WME will reach a similar agreement. WGA executives announced in September that they would not offer CAA or WME better terms than those agreed with other agencies. You can read here a red version of the franchise agreement (which reflects changes to the paradigm agreement). Click here for a list of all franchise agencies. In the midst of the fight, the WGA entered into agreements with mid-sized businesses and major boutiques, including Paradigm, APA, Gersh, Verve, Kaplan Stahler, Culture Creative Entertainment, Buchwald, A3 Artists Agency (formerly known Abrams) and Rothman Brecher – and now it has also reached an agreement with UTA. (THR`s parent company, Valencia Media, has a partnership with UTA through Civic Center Media.) UPDATE: CAA has agreed to sign a franchise agreement with the Writers Guild of America, Variety has learned, but the Guild says it will not accept the terms presented by the Powerhouse agency. This morning, CAA sent a letter to the WGA law firm with a new WGA franchise contract proposal.
Although we have had some cordial discussions over the past few months, this is the first time CAA has sent a written proposal. CAA has approved many of the current contractual terms (MIC), including sunset time for packaging and information exchange. WGA had entered into agreements with smaller agencies, including Paradigm Talent Agency, Gersh Agency Inc. and APA. The WGA is engaged in a campaign to end conflicting agency practices and force agencies to balance their interests with writers. In March 2019, WGA members voted 95.3% in favour of implementing the Agency`s Code of Conduct. In April 2019, more than 7,000 members ended their representation with non-franchised agencies. After months of intransigence by the Federation of Talent Agencies, the WGA has moved towards negotiating franchise agreements with individual agencies. Since August 2020, all but two agencies have decided to confront their authors` clients due to conflicts of interest, and are now again from the WGA franchise.
UPDATE: We have just received confirmation from the Agency that it has found common ground with WGA and has ended a long stalemate. The Guild wants to reorient the agency`s incentives so that they are consistent with the interests of the authors` clients and do not compete with them. Agents are agents legally bound to act in the best interests of their client and are bound by legal and ethical codes that determine a representative`s responsibility to remain free of any conflict of interest that would affect the unilateral and total pursuit of the client`s interests. We need a revised agency agreement to set such standards in our industry. This page is updated with more information on agency conflicts of interest and the WGA`s plan to resolve these conflicts, so please check regularly. “At a time when good news is being asked, we have a few,” jay Sures, co-chair of UTA, said in a July 15 letter to the agency`s clients about the agency`s agreement with the guild. We need a revised agency agreement to set such standards in our industry.