Talent agencies that signed the WGA’s new Code of Conduct aren’t being flooded with calls from writers seeking new representation now that they’ve been ordered by the guild to fire their agents who refused to sign. Deadline reached out to many of the 48 agencies that signed the Code and asked if they’ve been getting calls from writers who fired their agents on this the first business day since the Code went into effect.
“I have certainly had a few phone calls from writers who have fired their agents,” said Michael Lewis of Michael Lewis & Associates.
“I have not,” said Victoria Sanders, owner of the Victoria Sanders Literary Agency, which is based in Stone Ridge, NY. “I represent book writers and novelists. I’m a signatory to the WGA. I have a few clients who are members, but I’m not a film or television agent. I use co-agents. I’m very pleased with my co-agents at WME. They’re top-notch.” WME is one of the major agencies that has refused to sign the Code (read the list here).
“I’m semi-retired and only represent a few clients,” said another agent, who asked not to be identified. She said she signed the Code “as an act of solidarity because I believe in what the guild is doing.”
Another local agent signed to the Code said he hasn’t received a single call from writers who fired their agents. “Not one,” he said. “Zero. None.”
Said another signatory: “We don’t really represent writers. We have a license for writing deals, but it’s on a case-by-case basis.”
Sue Giordano, who’s partnered with her husband in the Hudson Agency in Montrose, NY, said that if writers were to call, “I wouldn’t be taking them on anyway. I’m at the end of my career. If it’s somebody with credits, I’d consider them. But we mostly work in kids’ animation.”
Like the others, she’d already been franchised by the guild.
“I’m a WGA signatory, so I just re-upped,” Giordano said.
As for representing A-list writers who have fired their agents, she said: “I’m totally not in that league. My husband and I are laughing our butts off right now.”
Agent Gregory David Mayo said he hasn’t received any calls yet. “Not at the present time, but it’s still pretty early,” he said. “It’s a complicated situation, and I hope it all gets resolved.”
Many of the agencies listed on the guild’s site are based in out-of-the-way towns not known for deal-making – like Cleveland Heights, Ohio; St. Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec; Mount Kisco, NY; Amherst, NH; South Barrington, Illinois; Pen Argyl, PA; Williston, SC; Colorado Springs, CO; Tampa, FL; Nyack, NY; and Citrus Heights, a suburb of Sacramento.
An agent in Las Vegas said he hasn’t received any calls from writers, but got “two emails last week from established writers.” But so far, he said, “Nothing concrete – nothing of importance.”
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