The WGA held its last membership assembly at the moment earlier than the final ballots might be forged tomorrow for a brand new Agency Code of Conduct – and one week earlier than subsequent Saturday’s expiration of the guild’s franchise settlement with the Association of Talent Agents – and a potential mass walkout by writers on their brokers.


SAG-AFTRA Stands With WGA In Its “Struggle” With Talent Agents

“I’m sure the Code will pass,” mentioned a author leaving the assembly on the Writers Guild Theater. “My sense is that it’s going to be an overwhelming yes.”

“Absolutely,” mentioned one other. “Overwhelming.”

“Everybody’s on board,” mentioned one other author. “The game is about to change.”

“The guild is very united,” mentioned one other.

“I think it will pass,” mentioned one other, who mentioned she is voting sure. Her buddy, nevertheless, continues to be on the fence. “I’m undecided, she mentioned, shrugging her shoulders.

As the negotiations enter the house stretch, there’s been no motion up to now on the important thing points – packaging charges and company affiliations with associated manufacturing entities, which the guild says are conflicts of curiosity. After the final bargaining session on Tuesday, the ATA mentioned that “There isn’t any actual change of concepts,” with the guild countering that “The agencies ignored everything we presented.”

“What do you think the agents are doing when they accuse us of not negotiating?” requested Chris Keyser, co-chair of the WGA’s negotiating committee, on a latest podcast. “They’re negotiating. That’s what they’re doing.”

Offering a glimpse into the guild’s negotiating technique, Keyser mentioned on the podcast that the gamesmanship and theatrics surrounding the talks – with accusations flying forwards and backwards within the press – are actually an integral a part of the negotiating course of. “Members don’t like the ‘game’ part of it,” he mentioned. “It drives our membership crazy. But the problem is it’s actually part of what is in some ways a bit of theater.”

“What happens outside the table determines the shape of the table,” he mentioned, quoting WGA West govt director David Young, the guild’s chief negotiator. “And the shape of the table has everything to do with what you end up getting.”

Theatrics apart, WGA board member John August mentioned on his Scriptnotes podcast that “We’re really negotiating, We’re really trying to get to a place where we can figure out an agreement together and figure out sort of what this all looks like. That’s not always a simple process; it’s not always a calm and quiet process. But we’re really negotiating.”

August, who additionally serves on the negotiating committee, burdened that negotiations should not nearly that “last deal-making phase where you’re haggling and trading off stuff. But negotiating is also communicating with your members about what it is you want; advocating for your position; seeing how much strength you have around that position. That’s negotiations, and we’re definitely seeing the agents doing that.”

“This is about building and exercising power,” mentioned Angelina Burnett, a board member who additionally sits on the negotiating committee. “Negotiations come down to who has more power. And all of this rhetoric and all the organizing we do, the outreach we do – all of it is about building power. And the more power we can build, the better deal we get.” And Young, she mentioned, “is a master at building power.”

“And there may be times,” she mentioned, “the place a factor is claimed within the press, in public, that makes you personally uncomfortable since you like your agent, and I completely perceive that. But we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t assume it constructed our energy. And all of that’s driving in the direction of our getting the very best take care of the least quantity of ache. That’s what energy provides us the chance to do. To…

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