The WGA told its members tonight that it remains “willing to negotiate with any agency or group of agencies that embrace an agenda that aligns writers’ interests with their agencies,” but stressed that “this may not happen until the pressure increases.”
The guild, in an update on “where things stand” in its fight with Hollywood’s talent agents, added that “Although we would all like a quick resolution, we are confronting an entrenched power system that is difficult to change overnight.”
In the meantime, the guild said, it has “notified private equity firms and institutional investors, including public sector pension funds, about the Big Three oligopoly agencies’ legal jeopardy and their loss of one of their key assets: writers.” Those “Big Three” agencies – WME, CAA and UTA – all have private equity stakeholders.
“Although we’ll do our best to anticipate what will happen next, every campaign has its challenges,” the guild said. “Keep in mind it has only been two weeks since we implemented the Code of Conduct, and a few days since we delivered the first batch of e-letters.”
The Code of Conduct bans packaging fees and prohibits agency ties to production entities through corporate parents. On Monday, the guild revealed that more than 7,000 writers have fired their agents who have refused to sign the Code – including all the major agencies.
“Writers are exercising essential pressure by withholding representation of our valuable talents from conflicted agencies,” the guild said, noting that it’s lawsuit against the “Big Three” agencies and ICM Partners continues to move “forward.”
“All of us have made a hard choice and taken the first step in righting a broken system,” the guild said. “But none of that will matter if we are not now prepared to fight whatever anxieties we may have and, instead, to allow our strategy to take effect. The agencies’ greatest weapon will be to stoke our fears and test our strength. We’ll need to continue to lean on each other, to remember the reason we started this fight in the first place and the power we have – have always had – as writers. If we do those things, we will succeed.”
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