After nearly a two month-long wait, The Writers Guild of America and the Association of Talent Agents finally met again to discuss negotiations after the writer’s strike. The two sides met in Los Angeles and the ATA offered an increase in the revenue-sharing proposal, raising it from 1% to 2% of the packaging fees from TV series, according to Variety.
The last time the WGA and ATA met was back in April, when WGA filed a lawsuit against UTA, WME, CAA, and ICM Partners over packaging fees. The crux of the issue is that agents receive packaging fees and writers earn less because of this. Friday’s meeting seems to have led to some progress on the front. Bryan Lourd, managing director and co-chair of CAA, opened with a lengthy statement urging for collaboration between the two parties. “The ATA has never been more unified and determined to get this right with the membership of your Guild. Today, we hope to turn the page,” said Lourd. A proposal was also shared, but it lacked clarity.
According to a message sent but the WGA, “Although there was cause for concern, including a revenue sharing proposal that instead of 1% is now 2%, the presentation was wide ranging and complex. We have asked for contract language on their proposals in order to formulate the appropriate response. As we’ve stated, whatever solution we find, it will have to address conflicts of interest and realign agency incentives with those of their writer clients.”
The main points of ATA’s new proposal are as follows:
The share revenue from series packages would increase to 2% for lower-level writers, who usually don’t receive compensation on the backend of successful shows. There would be a more detailed plan for consent and transparency involving writers and agents regarding show packaging. The ATA also promised a $6 million inclusion fund that would focus on job creation and development of talent. In the proposal, ATA set a five year timeline, additionally detailing the rules for arbitration, which differed from WGA’s proposal.