The US Writers Guld of America (WGA) has settled its long-running dispute with the Hollywood agencies as WME became the final agency to agree to a new franchise deal.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however the agreement on Friday (February 5) appears to bring to an end the battle that began when the Guild argued agencies had to align their businesses with the interests of writer clients.
For the Guild, that meant an end to packaging fees and a cap on agency ownership of production entities. Along the way, the Guild instructed its members to fire their agents, which happened in 2019.
The parties issued the following statements.
WGA West president David A. Goodman said, ”I’ve said repeatedly no one wanted the agency campaign over more than me, and I’m very pleased that we’ve achieved our goal: the agencies who represent us now have their financial interests aligned with their writer clients, and the agencies problematic business practices such as packaging fees and agency-owned production entities are at an end.
“As difficult as this battle was, the simple and just clarity of the goal, that a writer’s agent should make more only when his client does, is what helped us succeed.
“I could not be more grateful to the negotiating committee, elected leaders and staff whose commitment and tireless work over the last three years won the day. But, as with all the successes in the WGA’s history, such as our pension and health benefits, our residuals in perpetuity, and our jurisdiction over the Internet, this achievement is owed to the members, who understood what we were fighting for, and were willing to make personal sacrifices for the greater good. I’m proud and lucky to be one of them.”
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said, ”WME and the WGA have agreed to a new franchise deal that addresses writers’ core concerns while recognizing the unique aspects of our business. Writers have been a part of this agency since our inception, and they will continue to be a part of the lifeblood of WME. We look forward to once again serving as their advocates during this unprecedented time in our industry.”