CBS' 'SEAL Team' Showrunner Criticizes Writers Guild for "Somewhat McCarthy-Like Tone"

John Glenn's Headshot-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of John Glenn

In an email to the guild, however, John Glenn also noted that the agency business needed to change.

SEAL Team showrunner John Glenn criticized the Writers Guild of America in an email provided to The Hollywood Reporter, calling out what he termed a "somewhat McCarthy-like tone" and adding that he felt lied to and threatened by the guild. But he also noted in an interview that the guild was making valid points and the agency business needed to change.

The undated email was addressed and sent to WGA board member David Slack on April 16, said Glenn in an interview, as Slack had reached out to Glenn to see if he had signed the guild’s required talent agency termination letter. The guild delivered termination letters April 22 to the agencies from what it said were 7,000 of its 8,800 members who had agents. Glenn, who has an overall deal at CBS and previously at Universal Television, said he did not sign a termination letter until April 23.

"I’m so conflicted," Glenn told THR. "Agents have been instrumental in my success. [And] agents are very helpful in staffing. You depend on them to present you with new talent.” But, he added, "there needs to be an evolution. Packaging needs to change. And at the end of the day, it’s only going to get solved through negotiation. Like a lot of members, we want to get the parties talking."

The email makes clear that he disagrees with the guild’s tone and tactics, however. "I’d like to know," he asked, "(1) Why we were told we would not have to fire our agents directly when now we’re informed we absolutely must do so?; (2) Will there be ‘trials’ for members who do not agree with the actions taken by the WGA?; (3) What ‘discipline’ awaits those who dare dissent and refuse to ‘comply'?”

"This is about people," he added in the interview. "There will be many writers that this [battle against agents] will cost them their career."

Glenn's email is below. 

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