8 votes

Over 7,000 writers fire their agents as new reality takes hold

6 comments

  1. [6]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    I've read the article, and I still don't understand what happened. ELI5?

    I've read the article, and I still don't understand what happened. ELI5?

    1 vote
    1. [5]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      Here are a few more sources that explain the situation Why Did Agencies Only Offer Writers One Percent of Packaging Fees? Writers Guild Launches New Effort to Cut Agents From Pitch Process Writers...

      Here are a few more sources that explain the situation

      There has basically been an issue with two competing factions working to represent writers in hollywood, the Writers Guild of America (basically a union/association for the writing industry) and talent agents for writers (largely represented by the Association of Talent Agents).

      The issue at large is that writers are arguing they are not getting paid enough for their efforts and that they are receiving minuscule cuts of "package deals" that are negotiated by the talent agencies.

      The lawsuit alleges that television packaging fees — one of the two key business models undergirding the upper ranks of the agency business — are a breach of fiduciary duty and an illegal kickback under federal and state statutes, including California’s Unfair Competition Law. Asked at a press conference whether the WGA has the resources to fight four well-funded talent firms, WGA West general counsel Tony Segall responded, "We will see it through to the end."

      The suit seeks an end to packaging fees on new and existing series, and also disgorgement and restitution of packaging fees previously received by the agencies. The named defendants in the case are the major agencies, WME, CAA, UTA and ICM. The plaintiffs are the guild's West and East branches and eight individual writers.

      The talent agencies' last offer to the WGA was to share one percent of backend packaging fees with television series writers — an offer too meager to interest the guild, which in any case has consistently said that it wants to ban the fees altogether, not participate in what it contends is an unlawful practice. A UTA study of over 33,000 scripted episodes found that writers made 16 percent more on packaged series (10 percent of which is attributable to the fact that the writers don’t have to pay commission on a packaged series), but that study did not encompass the backend portion of packaging fees.

      This has been developing for some time now and seems to now be blowing over entirely with thousands of writers now firing their agents who have not signed a Code of Conduct pledge that the Writers Guild has put out that would ban packaging fees and other issues.

      Ultimately, this is all coming to a head before next year's triennial negotiations with the studios and producers, and means that unless one side backs down, were likely to see another writers strike like the one in 2007 - 2008 that basically ruined every television show airing at the time.

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        The_Fad
        Link Parent
        To think of what Heroes and Wolverine: Origins could have been. We could've had a Deadpool movie 10 years earlier. The superhero media landscape could be totally different.

        that basically ruined every television show airing at the time

        To think of what Heroes and Wolverine: Origins could have been. We could've had a Deadpool movie 10 years earlier. The superhero media landscape could be totally different.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          dubteedub
          Link Parent
          Man, what they did to Heroes was such a disappointment. I wish they had just put the show on hiatus until after the strike.

          Man, what they did to Heroes was such a disappointment. I wish they had just put the show on hiatus until after the strike.

          1 vote
          1. moocow1452
            Link Parent
            I'm going to lie to myself and say I rather not bang this drum again, but Heroes kinda fell apart on it's own, and the Strike only aggravated problems that were already there. Nobody knew what the...

            I'm going to lie to myself and say I rather not bang this drum again, but Heroes kinda fell apart on it's own, and the Strike only aggravated problems that were already there. Nobody knew what the hell they were doing after the first season, and even when they had a continuation of the show with a blank slate, they still fell into old habits. The Strike didn't do anything that wasn't already going to happen.

            3 votes
          2. The_Fad
            Link Parent
            Right!? If they had simply stuck with their anthology idea like they'd planned from the beginning they honestly could've been a Proto-American Horror Story and made billions.

            Right!? If they had simply stuck with their anthology idea like they'd planned from the beginning they honestly could've been a Proto-American Horror Story and made billions.

            1 vote