Over 7,000 Writers Fire Their Agents as New Reality Takes Hold

WGA vs ATA - H - 2019

The WGA delivered a first batch of termination letters Monday.

The Writers Guild of America established a new normal Monday, announcing that it had delivered “a first batch of over 7,000 termination letters from WGA members” to non-signatory talent agencies.

That’s out of 8,800 current (i.e., active) members who had agents as of April 12, according to the guild. The WGA also said that most who haven’t signed are retirees or not actively working.

None of the major or mid-tier talent agencies are signatory to the guild’s Code of Conduct, making them off-limits to current members.

“The primary source of pressure on agencies to sign the Code of Conduct is their lack of writer clients,” said the announcement, an email to members from the WGA’s agency negotiating committee. “Therefore, adherence to Working Rule 23 [requiring members to be represented only by signatory agents] remains the main responsibility of all Guild members.”

The guild’s code prohibits packaging fees and affiliate production, two mainstays of the largest agencies. Both sides are resolute. The WGA has also sued the top four agencies, seeking to halt packaging fees in a judicial forum as well.

The Association of Talent Agents did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For more on this subject, visit THR‘s labor page.