UPDATED with WGA statement, 6:17 PM: The Agency for the Performing Arts has added its name to the list of mid-level agencies saying they won’t sign the WGA’s new Code of Conduct. “APA has no intention of signing the WGA’s Code of Conduct, which in its current form will have a negative impact on our clients by limiting their choice, opportunities and privacy, among other things,” said Jim Gosnell, president and CEO of APA.
“APA has been a member of the ATA since 1962 and stands in unity with all of its members. While the WGA negotiating committee continues to hurt the very members its leadership allegedly is trying to protect; it is our sincere hope that the WGA committee will return to the table to negotiate in good faith so we can work together to bring stability back to our industry.”
The WGA was quick to respond to Gosnell’s statement.
“APA was founded in 1962 by former MCA agents when Bobby Kennedy’s Department of Justice told Lew Wasserman his agency had to choose between being talent’s employer or being their representative,” the guild said in a statement. “Now APA apparently thinks such conflicts are legal and desirable, but for writers they are not.”
The Gersh Agency and the Abrams Artists Agency, which also are ATA members, have said they won’t sign the Code either. The pledges of allegiance to the ATA comes after Verve – which is not an ATA member – signed the WGA’s Code, which bans packaging fees and agency affiliations with related production companies. The only ATA-member agency to sign the Code is Pantheon, a small agency with few writer-clients.
On Thursday, ATA executive director Karen Stuart told her members: “We must remain strong and united. Our unity speaks volumes to the WGA leadership.”