The DGA is telling its hyphenate members that they don’t have to fire their agents for DGA-covered work even if they are also writers who are being told by the WGA that they must fire their agents who refuse to sign its new Agency Code of Conduct. At least not for now.
“There are important issues that we are examining in the context of the DGA agency agreement,” the DGA said. “As our franchise agreement is currently in effect, we are not instructing hyphenate members to terminate their agents with respect to DGA-covered services at the present time.”
The WGA’s message to its hyphenate members has evolved in recent days. Before ordered its members to fire their agents, the WGA posed the question: “I’m represented by an agency for both writing and another area of work not covered by the guild (stand-up, acting, directing, etc.). Is it mandatory that I leave the agent for my non-Guild-covered work if my agency doesn’t sign?”
The answer: “No. The guild cannot direct you to leave your agency for work that isn’t covered by the Writers Guild. Make the decision that is best for you about whether or not to stay with an agency for non-covered work.”
Now, however, the WGA is posing the question slightly differently — which is raising concern among some writer-director hyphenates. “I’m represented by an agency for both writing and another area of work not covered by the guild (stand-up, acting, directing, writing plays, etc.). Is it mandatory that I leave the agent for my non-Guild-covered work?”
The WGA’s answer now is: “The guild cannot direct you to leave your agency for work that isn’t covered by the Writers Guild, although we encourage you to be represented for all your work by a franchised agency that is not conflicted.”
For film and TV’s biggest writer-directors, that would include everyone represented by the major agencies.
The WGA’s order to its members to fire their agents not signed to its Code came on Saturday after the guild and the Association of Talent Agents failed to reach agreement on a new franchise agreement. Their old agreement hadn’t been renegotiated in 43 years.
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