WGA Rejects ATA’s Offer Of Informal Talks In Advance Of Agency Rules Showdown

EXCLUSIVE: Leaders of the WGA East and WGA West have rejected the Association of Talent Agents’ offer to sit down for informal discussions in advance of formal bargaining next year on a new agreement governing the relationship between agents and writer…

EXCLUSIVE: Leaders of the WGA East and WGA West have rejected the Association of Talent Agents' offer to sit down for informal discussions in advance of formal bargaining next year on a new agreement governing the relationship between agents and writers. And in another sign that the guilds intend to play hardball in their efforts to reshape the agency business, sources say the WGA West has budgeted a whopping $600,000 to cover the cost of those upcoming negotiations. ATA…

WGA West Announces 2018 Board Of Directors Election Results

The Writers Guild of America West have announced the results of the 2018 Board of Directors Election.
Eight members were elected to the WGAW’s Board of Directors for two-year terms. They include Patti Carr (incumbent), Ashley Gable, Betsy Thomas, Deric…

The Writers Guild of America West have announced the results of the 2018 Board of Directors Election. Eight members were elected to the WGAW's Board of Directors for two-year terms. They include Patti Carr (incumbent), Ashley Gable, Betsy Thomas, Deric A. Hughes, David Slack, Jonathan Fernandez (incumbent), Patric A. Verrone (incumbent), Travis Donnelly. Their terms are effective immediately. "This vote represents the largest turnout in Guild Board election history, due…

WGA Sets Referendum On Proposed Changes To Its Screen Credits Manual

The WGA East and West will hold an online referendum of their members next month on proposed changes to the WGA’s Screen Credits Manual, which is used to determine writing credits on guild-covered films and TV shows. WGA officials say the proposed revi…

The WGA East and West will hold an online referendum of their members next month on proposed changes to the WGA's Screen Credits Manual, which is used to determine writing credits on guild-covered films and TV shows. WGA officials say the proposed revisions are "non-substantive" and are "aimed at clearing up confusion and making the manual more user-friendly." The proposed amendments, which were approved unanimouslyby the WGA West's board and by the WGA East's council…

Foreign Levies Shared By Hollywood Companies And Guilds Hit $1 Billion Milestone

EXCLUSIVE: Hollywood’s guilds and production companies have now collected more than $1 billion in foreign levies, a milestone that’s taken 26 years to reach.
The latest WGA report notes that the guild collected a record $24.5 million for the fiscal yea…

EXCLUSIVE: Hollywood's guilds and production companies have now collected more than $1 billion in foreign levies, a milestone that's taken 26 years to reach. The latest WGA report notes that the guild collected a record $24.5 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, and more than $250 million since the program began in 1992. Half of all levies collected go to the MPAA's member companies, and the other half is split between the WGA and the DGA. Thus, $250 million for…

Primetime Emmys Telecast: The Fight to Rethink How So Many Categories Are Handed Out On Air

The TV Academy wants to recognize as many winners as it can, but it also wants people to actually watch the Emmys. Maybe Lorne Michaels has the answer.

The Television Academy has revealed which awards will be handed out during the Primetime Emmys ceremony on Monday, Sept. 17 — and, well, it’s a lot. As usual, 26 awards will be handed on the telecast. That’s two more than the Oscars, which handed out 24 during this year’s show.

Clearly, the Oscars need to do something about that — which is its own, separate debate — and find new ways to quicken the pace. But that debate involves how to juggle craft awards on the telecast. At the Primetime Emmys, the Below the Line awards are already relegated to the Creative Arts Emmys, which were split into two ceremonies several years ago in order to accommodate all of those awards.

That’s why Emmy producers face a more daunting challenge when it comes to paring down the show. The Primetime Emmys must juggle entertainment with the need to honor actresses, actors, supporting actresses, supporting actors, directors, writers and series from genres including comedy, drama, limited series, variety/talk, and variety/sketch.

Past attempts to streamline the Emmys have been a mess. In 2009, the Directors’ Guild and the Writers’ Guild balked when the TV Academy revealed a plan to pre-tape pre-tape award presentations in eight categories before the show. The idea was to still show the winners, but edit out the time they take to get on and off the stage — which would save several minutes from the telecast.

But the DGA and WGA allow the TV Academy to show clips from nominated series for free on the telecast — and they threatened to revoke those waivers under that plan. Another plan — to hand out trophies to winners in their seats — was also nixed.

The Tony Awards actually do something similar to that, handing out some awards in the hour before the live telecast, and also during commerical breaks, and clips of those winners are then shown during the telecast.

Less likely is the idea of rotating different awards on and off the show each year. Per Academy guidelines, the telecast has to maintain parity among key branches, including the writing, directing, performing and producing categories.

It’s unclear if changes that were a nonstarter ten years ago might be more willingly accepted by the guilds this time around.

For one thing, the desire to attract viewers to the Emmy Awards is even more crucial as ratings decline. Something needs to be done — and it’s in the best interest of the entire TV industry to figure out how to save the Emmy Awards show from even deeper ratings declines.

A change could come this year, with next month’s ceremony. As reported by Deadline and Variety, the Big Four networks’ new $8.25 million annual contract to continue airing the Emmys comes with a big request: The concerted effort by the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences to strike a compromise with the guilds.

But there’s no easy answer, as some of the key writing and directing categories also include household names — the kind that might attract audiences as well.

The last two Emmy telecasts have hit viewership lows for the telecast, including 11.4 million for the 2017 ceremony. This year, with “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update” anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost hosting the Primetime Emmys on NBC, “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels will be more involved — and as a master of producing live TV, perhaps he has the answer.

Here’s what’s slated to be handed out during this year’s Primetime Emmys, airing Sept. 17 on NBC:

Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Limited Series
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special

Association Of Talent Agents Reaches Out To WGA To Discuss New Franchise Agreement

The Association of Talent Agents has reached out to the WGA with an offer to sit down for informal talks in advance of negotiations for a new franchise agreement that governs how agencies represent writers. It’s the first conciliatory move by either si…

The Association of Talent Agents has reached out to the WGA with an offer to sit down for informal talks in advance of negotiations for a new franchise agreement that governs how agencies represent writers. It's the first conciliatory move by either side since April, when the WGA East and West gave the ATA a 12-month notice to terminate their existing agreement, known as the Artists' Manager Basic Agreement. In a letter to the heads of both unions, ATA executive director K…

WGA West Survey Finds 64% Of Female Writers Have Been Sexually Harassed On The Job

EXCLUSIVE: A survey of more than 2,000 WGA West members has found that 64% of female writers say they’ve experienced sexual harassment sometime in their careers, and that “a significant amount of the harassment writers experience occurs in the wr…

EXCLUSIVE: A survey of more than 2,000 WGA West members has found that 64% of female writers say they’ve experienced sexual harassment sometime in their careers, and that "a significant amount of the harassment writers experience occurs in the writers' room." In a recent communique to members, the guild said survey also found that 11% of male writers said that they too had experienced sexual harassment on the job, and that "many more writers have witnessed harassment."…

WGA Awards Tweaks TV Rules, Opens Submissions

The WGA said today that submissions for its 2019 WGA Awards are now open, while unveiling some rules tweaks that clarify the organization’s guidelines for limited series as well as adjust the eligibility period window on several TV categories to …

The WGA said today that submissions for its 2019 WGA Awards are now open, while unveiling some rules tweaks that clarify the organization’s guidelines for limited series as well as adjust the eligibility period window on several TV categories to fall in line with the calendar year. Among its changes, the guild has amended its rule that allowed for a pilot script that exceeded one hour to be eligible for consideration in the Long Form/Limited Series categories or new media…

WGA West Earnings Hit Record $1.4 Billion In 2017 Despite “Downward Pressure” On Over-Scale Pay

Earnings by members of the WGA West topped $1.4 billion last year – an all-time record and up nearly 3% from 2016. Earnings from feature films broke though the $400 million barrier for the first time since 2010 – up more than 6% and topping…

Earnings by members of the WGA West topped $1.4 billion last year – an all-time record and up nearly 3% from 2016. Earnings from feature films broke though the $400 million barrier for the first time since 2010 – up more than 6% and topping out at nearly $421 million. TV earnings are fast approaching $1 billion a year, coming in at $976 million, though only up 1.4% from the prior year. "This year's report continues the positive trends recorded over the last half decade,"…

WGA West Board Elections: 15 Candidates Will Vie For Eight Seats

Fifteen candidates have been nominated to run for eight open seats on the WGA West’s board of directors, including incumbents Patti Carr, Jonathan Fernandez, Courtney Ellinger and former guild president Patric Verrone.
The other candidates chosen by th…

Fifteen candidates have been nominated to run for eight open seats on the WGA West's board of directors, including incumbents Patti Carr, Jonathan Fernandez, Courtney Ellinger and former guild president Patric Verrone. The other candidates chosen by the guild's nominating committee are Deric Hughes, David Slack, Akilah Green, Ashley Gable, Spiro Skentzos, VJ Boyd, Travis Donnelly, Dante W. Harper, Eric Heisserer, Deborah Amelon, and Betsy Thomas. Eligible members also can…

WGA East Leader Blames Agents’ Conflicts Of Interest For Writers’ Declining “Quotes”

As the Writers Guild prepares to sit down to negotiate a new deal with the Association of Talent Agents, WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson is blaming the agencies’ “conflicts of interest” in the packaging of scripted TV shows for the decline …

As the Writers Guild prepares to sit down to negotiate a new deal with the Association of Talent Agents, WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson is blaming the agencies' "conflicts of interest" in the packaging of scripted TV shows for the decline in writers' quotes" – the wages they earned on their last assignments. In a recent letter to his members and to the WGA East's council, Peterson says that writers' quotes increasingly are moving downward toward the guild's…

AT&T-Time Warner Ruling Reactions: Hollywood Scribes, Senator Among Critical Voices

The $85 billion merger of AT& and Time Warner was cleared by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., today in a landmark antitrust ruling. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon accepted the survival-of-the-fittest argument AT&T and Time Warner ex…

The $85 billion merger of AT& and Time Warner was cleared by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., today in a landmark antitrust ruling. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon accepted the survival-of-the-fittest argument AT&T and Time Warner executives made in court, paving the way for the tie-up of the the nation's second-largest telecommunications company and the biggest pay TV provider with one of the country's leading film and television studios. The companies had…

Apple Signs WGA Contract As It Ramps Up Scripted Shows

Apple’s TV development arm, which is gearing up to produce scripted content, has signed the WGA basic agreement. Guild officials are calling it a “significant” development as they prepare for their next round of collective bargaining for a new industry…

Apple's TV development arm, which is gearing up to produce scripted content, has signed the WGA basic agreement. Guild officials are calling it a "significant" development as they prepare for their next round of collective bargaining for a new industry-wide minimum basic agreement (MBA). "Apple has agreed to better-than-MBA terms if its programming is offered free to consumers online," said WGA West president David A. Goodman and executive director David Young, and WGA…

Donald Trump Pardons Mocked By WGA Presidents

The presidents of the WGA East and WGA West haven’t weighed in yet on the Roseanne Barr/Samantha Bee controversies, but they are taking pot shots at President Donald Trump’s pardon powers.
“Pardon my plain English,” WGA East president Beau Willimon twe…

The presidents of the WGA East and WGA West haven't weighed in yet on the Roseanne Barr/Samantha Bee controversies, but they are taking pot shots at President Donald Trump's pardon powers. "Pardon my plain English," WGA East president Beau Willimon tweeted earlier today, "but Trump's flagrant abuse of the presidential pardon is even more proof that he and his cohorts are a band of craven, shameless, unscrupulous fucking criminals." Trump recently pardoned conservative comm…

Writers Guild of America, East Says Net Neutrality is ‘More Essential Than Ever’

The Writers Guild of America, East is praising the U.S. Senate for its efforts to thwart the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to rollback current net neutrality rules, saying on Thursday it is “more essential than ever” in the age of media consolidation.

Democratic Senators gained critical Republican votes in passing a resolution on Wednesday, blocking the FCC from undoing 2015’s “Open Internet” ruling, which bars internet companies from throttling or blocking access to certain sites.

“Yesterday, a resolution to restore net neutrality was passed by the U.S. Senate with support from both Democrats and Republicans. FCC Chairman Ajit Pia’s cynical attempt to kill net neutrality was rejected across party lines,” said the WGAE in a statement. “We will continue to push for the full reinstatement of net neutrality, which is supported by the large majority of Americans.”

Also Read: Netflix Comes Out in Support for Net Neutrality, Tells FCC ‘We Will See You in Court’

The guild added: “Media companies continue to grow – Sinclair is on a path to owning the airwaves across the country, AT&T and Time Warner press to consolidate, and Disney and Fox seek to merge. This consolidation empowers the media behemoths to tighten their grip on the flow of information, making it more essential than ever that we preserve an open and free internet.”

The FCC — spearheaded by Chairman Ajit Pai — voted in December to end Obama-era regulations safeguarding net neutrality. Under the FCC’s new rules, which were set to go into effect on June 11, internet providers would be able to slow down access to certain sites, as long as they report it.

“It’s disappointing that Senate Democrats forced this resolution through by a narrow margin.  But ultimately, I’m confident that their effort to reinstate heavy-handed government regulation of the Internet will fail,” said Chairman Pai in a statement on Wednesday. “The Internet was free and open before 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure from the White House and imposed utility-style regulation on the Internet.  And it will continue to be free and open once the Restoring Internet Freedom Order takes effect on June 11.”

Also Read: Jimmy Kimmel Blasts ‘Jackhole’ Ajit Pai and FCC for Repealing Net Neutrality (Video)

The resolution now heads to the House of Representatives, where Democrats need 25 GOP members to cross party lines to continue blocking the FCC’s new rules. If the resolution makes its way through the House, President Trump would then have the opportunity to veto.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Senate Votes to Block FCC’s Repeal of Net Neutrality

AT&T Calls for Congress to Pass Net Neutrality Law

Net Neutrality Is Dead: Streaming ‘Fast Lanes’ Loom as Movement Against FCC Ruling Mobilizes

The Writers Guild of America, East is praising the U.S. Senate for its efforts to thwart the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to rollback current net neutrality rules, saying on Thursday it is “more essential than ever” in the age of media consolidation.

Democratic Senators gained critical Republican votes in passing a resolution on Wednesday, blocking the FCC from undoing 2015’s “Open Internet” ruling, which bars internet companies from throttling or blocking access to certain sites.

“Yesterday, a resolution to restore net neutrality was passed by the U.S. Senate with support from both Democrats and Republicans. FCC Chairman Ajit Pia’s cynical attempt to kill net neutrality was rejected across party lines,” said the WGAE in a statement. “We will continue to push for the full reinstatement of net neutrality, which is supported by the large majority of Americans.”

The guild added: “Media companies continue to grow – Sinclair is on a path to owning the airwaves across the country, AT&T and Time Warner press to consolidate, and Disney and Fox seek to merge. This consolidation empowers the media behemoths to tighten their grip on the flow of information, making it more essential than ever that we preserve an open and free internet.”

The FCC — spearheaded by Chairman Ajit Pai — voted in December to end Obama-era regulations safeguarding net neutrality. Under the FCC’s new rules, which were set to go into effect on June 11, internet providers would be able to slow down access to certain sites, as long as they report it.

“It’s disappointing that Senate Democrats forced this resolution through by a narrow margin.  But ultimately, I’m confident that their effort to reinstate heavy-handed government regulation of the Internet will fail,” said Chairman Pai in a statement on Wednesday. “The Internet was free and open before 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure from the White House and imposed utility-style regulation on the Internet.  And it will continue to be free and open once the Restoring Internet Freedom Order takes effect on June 11.”

The resolution now heads to the House of Representatives, where Democrats need 25 GOP members to cross party lines to continue blocking the FCC’s new rules. If the resolution makes its way through the House, President Trump would then have the opportunity to veto.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Senate Votes to Block FCC's Repeal of Net Neutrality

AT&T Calls for Congress to Pass Net Neutrality Law

Net Neutrality Is Dead: Streaming 'Fast Lanes' Loom as Movement Against FCC Ruling Mobilizes

WGA & Luc Besson’s Seaside Productions Reach $1 Million Residuals Settlement

The WGA West has reached a $1 million settlement with Luc Besson’s Seaside Productions to cover unpaid residuals on 23 films. Guild records show that the company, which is owned and managed by the French filmmaker, had a “history of contract violations…

The WGA West has reached a $1 million settlement with Luc Besson's Seaside Productions to cover unpaid residuals on 23 films. Guild records show that the company, which is owned and managed by the French filmmaker, had a "history of contract violations and noncompliance" and has been "inconsistent in paying residuals." Besson is perhaps best known as the writer-director of The Fifth Element, Lucy and last year’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, though it's…

WGA Sexual Harassment Survey Sees Strong Turnout

EXCLUSIVE: More than 2,000 members of the WGA West have responded to the guild’s survey on sexual harassment, making it the industry’s most extensive study of the problem to date. Information provided by respondents is being kept confidential, but the …

EXCLUSIVE: More than 2,000 members of the WGA West have responded to the guild's survey on sexual harassment, making it the industry's most extensive study of the problem to date. Information provided by respondents is being kept confidential, but the guild has said it will be used "to evaluate the extent of sexual harassment in our workplaces, and the challenges writers face when experiencing or witnessing it." The turnout represents about a fifth of the guild’s active…

Association Of Talent Agents Skeptical Of WGA’s Anti-Packaging Proposals

The Writers Guild’s proposals for a new talent agency agreement were greeted with skepticism from the Association of Talent Agents today.
The WGA has proposed 30 changes to its 42-year-old agreement with the ATA that would reshape the talent agency bu…

The Writers Guild's proposals for a new talent agency agreement were greeted with skepticism from the Association of Talent Agents today. The WGA has proposed 30 changes to its 42-year-old agreement with the ATA that would reshape the talent agency business by putting an end to packaging and stopping the agencies' nascent ventures into film and television production. The WGA says the changes are needed to curb "conflicts of interest" inherent in agents representing…

Writer’s Guild Proposes New Deal That Would End Agency Packaging Deals

The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) is proposing a new deal to curb conflicts of interest by putting an end to talent agency packaging deals and ventures into TV and film production.

The guild’s proposal, which TheWrap obtained, states: “No Agency shall have an ownership or other financial interest in, or shall be owned by or affiliated with, any entity or individual engaged in the production or distribution of motion pictures.”

It also proposes that “no Agency shall accept any money or thing of value from the employer of a client.”

Also Read: Writers Guild Announces ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ on Sexual Harassment

By packaging deals, agencies receive upfront and back-end fees from companies when they bring together financial elements for a project and various creative, including on-air talent.

Under the guild’s proposal, agencies would revert back to collecting 10 percent commission on writers they represent.

The Association of Talent Agents (ATA) is not likely to agree to the WGA’s proposal without a fight.

Also Read: Slate Employees Vote to Unionize With Writers Guild of America, East

Read the WGA’s proposal points below:

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

a. No Agency shall have an ownership or other financial interest in, or shall be owned by or affiliated with, any entity or individual engaged in the production or distribution of motion pictures.

b. No Agency shall have an ownership or other financial interest in, or shall be owned by or affiliated with, any business venture that would create an actual or apparent conflict of interest with Agency’s representation of a Client.

c. No Agency shall derive any revenue or other benefit from a Client’s involvement in or employment on a motion picture project, other than a percentage commission based on the Client’s compensation.

d. No Agency shall accept any money or thing of value from the employer of a Client.

e. Agency shall disclose to Client any fact or relationship creating an actual or apparent conflict of interest.

AGENCY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

a. Agency shall at all times act as a fiduciary of Client, and shall comply with all fiduciary duties imposed by statute or common law.

b. Agency’s representation of a Client shall not be influenced by its representation of any other client.

c. Agency shall promptly disclose to Client all inquiries, offers and expressions of interest regarding employment or sale or option of literary material, and shall keep Client apprised of the status of all negotiations.

d. Agency shall maintain confidentiality with respect to Client’s employment and financial affairs.

e. Agency shall not submit Client for employment where the employer or producer has not yet secured underlying rights necessary for the assignment.

f. Agency shall be responsive and professional in communicating with client.

Also Read: Vox Media Votes to Unionize With WGA East

AGENCY COMPENSATION

a. Agency’s commission shall be limited to 10% of Client’s gross compensation, including Client’s profit participation.

b. Agency’s commission shall not reduce Client’s compensation below MBA scale compensation.

c. Agency shall not circumvent limits on commissions by charging fees for other services.

d. Agency shall provide quarterly to Client and to the Guild an itemized statement showing in standardized electronic format (i) all compensation received by or on behalf of Client; and (ii) all commissions and other revenue received by Agency related to its representation of Client. Client and Guild shall have the right to audit such statements.

NOTIFICATION TO GUILD

a. Agency shall provide the Guild with a copy of the agreement or essential deal terms of any engagement or other transaction involving a Client no later than 10 days after the earlier of (i) the existence of a binding contractual commitment; or (ii) the commencement of Client’s writing services.

b. Agency shall provide the Guild with immediate notice of Client’s commencement of services or delivery of literary material, or other material fact triggering compensation, and a copy of any invoice or other documentation relating to the payment obligation.

c. Agency shall provide the Guild with copies of all representation agreements with Client.

Also Read: WGA West Set to Develop ‘Mission Statement’ to Address Sexual Harassment, Discrimination

ENFORCEMENT OF MBA AND CLIENTS’ INDIVIDUAL WRITING AGREEMENTS

a. Agency shall not encourage Client to violate any provision of the MBA.

b. Agency shall zealously advocate for Client’s best interests in all aspects of the employment relationship, including but not limited to the following: i. Advocating against Client’s performance of uncompensated or speculative writing services; ii. Advocating in favor of multiple steps in theatrical deals; and iii. Protecting Client from abusive hiring practices such as sweepstakes pitching.

c. Agency shall be aware of and monitor the contractual deadline for the payment of all compensation to the Client, and shall immediately notify the Guild in the event a payment is late.

d. Agency shall cooperate fully with the Guild in any investigation or contract enforcement action undertaken on behalf of a Client.

e. Agency shall not encourage Client to violate any Guild rule.

Also Read: Hollywood PR Chief Kelly Bush Novak Calls for 50/50 Gender Equality Across Industry by 2020

NON-DISCRIMINATION AND DIVERSITY

a. Agency shall comply with all state and federal anti-discrimination laws in its selection and representation of Clients.

b. Agency shall not, without prior disclosure to Client, procure any employment where there is a reasonable basis to believe that the Client will be subjected to a hostile work environment or other forms of workplace harassment.

c. Agency shall take steps to ensure the referral of qualified diverse writers for any open writing assignment.

d. Agency shall consult with their Clients regarding diversity as a factor in their procurement of employment.

e. Agency shall provide the Guild with an annual report summarizing Agency’s diversity efforts and reflecting, through anonymized data, the employment history of writers represented by the Agency, broken down by membership in statutorily protected classes.

ENFORCEMENT OF AMBA Streamline arbitration process in the AMBA to provide for enforcement of its provisions through expedited arbitration through a sole neutral arbitrator. Enhance penalties for breach of AMBA, including loss of franchise for serious violations. Revise list of approved arbitrators.

TERM OF AMBA Term of the new AMBA shall be three years, provided that it shall thereafter renew for one-year periods unless either party gives written notice of termination at least 60 days before the expiration date then in effect.

Umberto Gonzalez contributed to this reporting

Related stories from TheWrap:

Vox Media Votes to Unionize With WGA East

‘House of Cards’ Creator Will Become Next WGA East President

WGA Boards Approve New Film, TV Contract

The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) is proposing a new deal to curb conflicts of interest by putting an end to talent agency packaging deals and ventures into TV and film production.

The guild’s proposal, which TheWrap obtained, states: “No Agency shall have an ownership or other financial interest in, or shall be owned by or affiliated with, any entity or individual engaged in the production or distribution of motion pictures.”

It also proposes that “no Agency shall accept any money or thing of value from the employer of a client.”

By packaging deals, agencies receive upfront and back-end fees from companies when they bring together financial elements for a project and various creative, including on-air talent.

Under the guild’s proposal, agencies would revert back to collecting 10 percent commission on writers they represent.

The Association of Talent Agents (ATA) is not likely to agree to the WGA’s proposal without a fight.

Read the WGA’s proposal points below:

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

a. No Agency shall have an ownership or other financial interest in, or shall be owned by or affiliated with, any entity or individual engaged in the production or distribution of motion pictures.

b. No Agency shall have an ownership or other financial interest in, or shall be owned by or affiliated with, any business venture that would create an actual or apparent conflict of interest with Agency’s representation of a Client.

c. No Agency shall derive any revenue or other benefit from a Client’s involvement in or employment on a motion picture project, other than a percentage commission based on the Client’s compensation.

d. No Agency shall accept any money or thing of value from the employer of a Client.

e. Agency shall disclose to Client any fact or relationship creating an actual or apparent conflict of interest.

AGENCY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

a. Agency shall at all times act as a fiduciary of Client, and shall comply with all fiduciary duties imposed by statute or common law.

b. Agency’s representation of a Client shall not be influenced by its representation of any other client.

c. Agency shall promptly disclose to Client all inquiries, offers and expressions of interest regarding employment or sale or option of literary material, and shall keep Client apprised of the status of all negotiations.

d. Agency shall maintain confidentiality with respect to Client’s employment and financial affairs.

e. Agency shall not submit Client for employment where the employer or producer has not yet secured underlying rights necessary for the assignment.

f. Agency shall be responsive and professional in communicating with client.

AGENCY COMPENSATION

a. Agency’s commission shall be limited to 10% of Client’s gross compensation, including Client’s profit participation.

b. Agency’s commission shall not reduce Client’s compensation below MBA scale compensation.

c. Agency shall not circumvent limits on commissions by charging fees for other services.

d. Agency shall provide quarterly to Client and to the Guild an itemized statement showing in standardized electronic format (i) all compensation received by or on behalf of Client; and (ii) all commissions and other revenue received by Agency related to its representation of Client. Client and Guild shall have the right to audit such statements.

NOTIFICATION TO GUILD

a. Agency shall provide the Guild with a copy of the agreement or essential deal terms of any engagement or other transaction involving a Client no later than 10 days after the earlier of (i) the existence of a binding contractual commitment; or (ii) the commencement of Client’s writing services.

b. Agency shall provide the Guild with immediate notice of Client’s commencement of services or delivery of literary material, or other material fact triggering compensation, and a copy of any invoice or other documentation relating to the payment obligation.

c. Agency shall provide the Guild with copies of all representation agreements with Client.

ENFORCEMENT OF MBA AND CLIENTS’ INDIVIDUAL WRITING AGREEMENTS

a. Agency shall not encourage Client to violate any provision of the MBA.

b. Agency shall zealously advocate for Client’s best interests in all aspects of the employment relationship, including but not limited to the following: i. Advocating against Client’s performance of uncompensated or speculative writing services; ii. Advocating in favor of multiple steps in theatrical deals; and iii. Protecting Client from abusive hiring practices such as sweepstakes pitching.

c. Agency shall be aware of and monitor the contractual deadline for the payment of all compensation to the Client, and shall immediately notify the Guild in the event a payment is late.

d. Agency shall cooperate fully with the Guild in any investigation or contract enforcement action undertaken on behalf of a Client.

e. Agency shall not encourage Client to violate any Guild rule.

NON-DISCRIMINATION AND DIVERSITY

a. Agency shall comply with all state and federal anti-discrimination laws in its selection and representation of Clients.

b. Agency shall not, without prior disclosure to Client, procure any employment where there is a reasonable basis to believe that the Client will be subjected to a hostile work environment or other forms of workplace harassment.

c. Agency shall take steps to ensure the referral of qualified diverse writers for any open writing assignment.

d. Agency shall consult with their Clients regarding diversity as a factor in their procurement of employment.

e. Agency shall provide the Guild with an annual report summarizing Agency’s diversity efforts and reflecting, through anonymized data, the employment history of writers represented by the Agency, broken down by membership in statutorily protected classes.

ENFORCEMENT OF AMBA Streamline arbitration process in the AMBA to provide for enforcement of its provisions through expedited arbitration through a sole neutral arbitrator. Enhance penalties for breach of AMBA, including loss of franchise for serious violations. Revise list of approved arbitrators.

TERM OF AMBA Term of the new AMBA shall be three years, provided that it shall thereafter renew for one-year periods unless either party gives written notice of termination at least 60 days before the expiration date then in effect.

Umberto Gonzalez contributed to this reporting

Related stories from TheWrap:

Vox Media Votes to Unionize With WGA East

'House of Cards' Creator Will Become Next WGA East President

WGA Boards Approve New Film, TV Contract

WGA Seeks To Reshape Talent Agency Business With Proposal For New Deal

EXCLUSIVE: The Writers Guild wants to completely reshape the talent agency business, putting an end to packaging and stopping the agencies’ nascent ventures into film and television production.
In their proposals for a new agreement with the Associatio…

EXCLUSIVE: The Writers Guild wants to completely reshape the talent agency business, putting an end to packaging and stopping the agencies' nascent ventures into film and television production. In their proposals for a new agreement with the Association of Talent Agents, the WGA East and WGA West have proposed that "No agency shall accept any money or thing of value from the employer of a client." That would effectively end all packaging deals, in which agencies receive…

Hollywood’s Guilds Move To Protect Members Residuals And Benefits In TWC Bankruptcy

Hollywood’s unions and their pension and health plans have filed court papers to protect their members’ residuals and benefits in the Weinstein Company’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. It’s a common move when companies declare bankruptcy so that current and future obligations to the union’s members will be paid.
SAGAFTRA, the DGA and the WGA East and West – and their respective pension and health plans – filed a joint motion to preserve the money owed to their members…

Hollywood's unions and their pension and health plans have filed court papers to protect their members' residuals and benefits in the Weinstein Company's ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. It's a common move when companies declare bankruptcy so that current and future obligations to the union's members will be paid. SAG-AFTRA, the DGA and the WGA East and West – and their respective pension and health plans – filed a joint motion to preserve the money owed to their members…