UPDATED with corrected time: WGA members began voting this morning for a new Agency Code of Conduct that would ban TV packaging fees and agency affiliations with related production companies. Four days of online voting, which began tonight at 9 PM PT, will conclude on Sunday at 10 AM. If approved, as is expected, the vote will set the stage for the final days of the guild’s negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents for a new franchise agreement.
Last night, more than 500 writers attended a WGA West membership meeting to hear an update on the status of negotiations and the guild’s plans for what comes next if an agreement isn’t reached. Membership meetings will be held again tonight at the Sheraton Universal and in New York at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Another meeting will be held Saturday at the Writers Guild Theater in Los Angeles.
Prospects for a settlement of the dispute appear to grow dimmer every day, as each side continues to accuse the other of not taking the talks seriously. The deadline for a deal is April 6. After that, if the new Code of Conduct is ratified, the guild could then order its members to fire their agents who refuse to sign the code.
At last count, nearly 800 writers – including many of TV’s top showrunners – have said they will do just that if a new agreement isn’t reached.
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