Writers Guild "Preparing" to Sue Talent Agencies Over "Kickbacks and Conflict of Interest"

Writers Guild of America Building - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of WGA West

"When your agency is your employer, you have no agency," says the guild in an extensive FAQ.

The battle between the Writers Guild of America and talent agencies kicked up another notch Saturday as the WGA released a detailed FAQ that included the disclosure that the guild is "preparing a lawsuit" that challenges packaging, a key agency practice, as a conflict of interest and as an "illegal kickback" under federal labor law.

The disclosure did not say when — or even if — the lawsuit will be filed, but it raises the temperature of an already roiling dispute and clearly increases the likelihood of litigation.

The 49-point FAQ amounts to a white paper addressing numerous arguments for and against the guild’s move to impose a new code of conduct on talent agencies that would prohibit packaging — a decades-old practice that the unions have intermittently challenged — and production, a newer enterprise for the agencies.

Both are lucrative, and their loss would represent a major change in business models for top agencies in particular.

Read the FAQ here.