WGA Statement of Purpose: Why Agencies Must Change
Our agents work for us. Every dollar they make must be generated as a percentage of the money we make. That is what it means to be our representatives and our fiduciaries. Agency-based studios and packaging fees make a mockery of that and are in violation of the agencies’ ethical and legal obligations to writers. We have taken too long to demand that these practices end. But the persistence of a corrupt system does not make it right. And putting things right does not blow up the business. We do not owe our agents their wealth; they owe us their loyalty. That is what we pay for. In a complex, changing, yet immensely profitable time in our industry, writers need true allies, not deeply conflicted ones. It is for this idea—simple, old-fashioned and un-revolutionary—that we stand—and for which we come together as a Guild again today.
The Guild wants to realign agency incentives so they are consistent with, rather than competing with, the interests of writer clients. Agents are fiduciaries, required by law to act in the interest of their client and are bound by legal and ethical codes establishing a responsibility for a representative to remain free of any conflict of interest that would interfere with the single-minded, unmitigated, pursuit of the client’s interest. We need a revised agency agreement to establish such standards in our industry.
This page will be updated with further information on agency conflicts of interest and the WGA’s plan to address these conflicts so please check back regularly.
- (Watch) The Truth About Agency Studios (11/11/19)
- A #RiskyEndeavor – Day of Action Social Media Toolkit (9/26/19)
- WGA Staffing & Development Platform (7/25/19)
- Agency Campaign Update . (6/19/19)
- Agency Campaign Update: Agreement with Verve
- Agency Campaign Update: Issues Affecting Screenwriters .
- Agency Campaign Update – May 1, 2019 .
- Writers Guild of America Announces Lawsuit to End Talent Agencies’ Conflicted Business Practices
- E-Signing the Letter to Your Agency
- WGA response to ATA Proposal – April 12, 2019
- ATA Proposal to WGA – April 10, 2019 .
- WGA Statement of Support: We are Voting YES
- Speech by David A. Goodman at February 13, 2019 WGA Agency Agreement Membership Meeting .
- Agency Campaign Resources for Writers
- #WGASolidarity on Social Media
- WGA-Verve Code of Conduct Franchise Agreement .
- 2019 Agency Code of Conduct
- List of Franchised Agencies
- Rules of Implementation of the WGA Code of Conduct for Agents .
- WGA Agency Code of Conduct Implementation
- Agency Conflicts of Interest Video .
- Writers Share Their Experiences With Agency Packaging and Producing
- Agencies For Sale .
- No Conflict, No Interest .
- TV Writer Pay: Losing Ground
RESPONSES TO AGENCY PUSH BACK
- Packaging is Good for Me
- But, I Like Not Paying 10% Commission
- You’ll Never See That Money Again
- The Myth of Affiliated Studios
- My Agent Is Not Like That
Also, email Agency Agreement to provide the Guild with examples of your experiences with the current system and any comments or questions you have about the campaign.
We need a revised agency agreement to establish such standards in our industry.