Read the text below.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) sued four major Hollywood talent agencies over alleged unfair practices.
The WGA, a labor union that represents screenwriters across the United States, recently filed a case for the long-standing practice of using packaging fees. These fees are payments given to agencies for bundling writers, directors, and actors for shows. According to the WGA, agencies often get a huge payout because of packaging fees, oftentimes more than what writers receive.
The union tried to enforce a new agreement banning the use of packaging fees. However, majority of agents refused to sign this new agreement, saying that it puts agency business operations at risk. This disagreement ultimately led to the lawsuit.
The Association of Talent Agencies (ATA) spoke on behalf of the talent agencies, saying that packaging fees are actually good for screenwriters. Under this practice, writers do not have to pay a standard 10% commission to their agents. The ATA also added that it would not be in the WGA’s best interest to file a lawsuit because it could only lead to an industry-wide commotion.
Around 8,500 of the WGA members worked with agencies. Many of these writers, however, have already severed ties with their agencies because of the dispute. Despite this, the writers are still able to carry on with making scripts for production companies through the WGA’s help.
The guild has created a system that allows its members to directly submit works to production companies without the help of agencies. Under this new system, independent writers can work on up to three projects at once.