The Writers Guild of America’s demand for more streaming residuals from the studios could set the stage for the first industrywide strike in more than a decade. And it’s not just that writers are in a fighting mood after feuding with the agencies for more than nine months: there’s big money at stake – and not just from the ever-growing streaming market, but also from what the guild says are “hundreds of millions of dollars” that will be going into the pockets of the studios if it prevails in its lawsuit and packaging fees are eliminated.
A federal judge has denied the Justice Department’s request to participate in Friday’s hearing on the WGA’s motion to dismiss the Big Three talent agencies’ antitrust lawsuits against the guild. It’s a major procedural victory for the guild, which said last week that it saw no reason for the DOJ to take part in the hearing.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court claims agents’ use of so-called packaging fees is illegal under California law because they pose “numerous conflicts of interest between writers and the agencies serving as their agents.”
Talks in Hollywood broke down on Friday, upending a way of doing business that had been in place for decades. A guide to how the dispute came about and what lies ahead.
The Writers Guild of America has agreed to extend the deadline for imposing its new code of conduct on Hollywood agencies, the guild said in an email to members late Saturday.
Newsy Ramps Up For 24/7 News
Amid a tense labor atmosphere in Hollywood, the Writers Guild of America began contract negotiations Monday in what is expected to be a tough round of talks as the industry continues to grapple with digital upheaval.
The Writers Guild of America has offered a chilling picture of the future of television to the FCC in a bid to block the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. “The FCC should deny the proposed merger,” the WGA said in a brief filed with the FCC on Friday, noting that the merged entity “would control almost 30%” of the cable and satellite TV market.
The Writers Guild of America, West has signed its first contract covering news writing and promotions for the Internet. This week about 15 Web writer-producers working in television and radio news and promotions at CBS studios in the Los Angeles area ratified their first-ever contract with CBS, the guild said in a statement.
Hollywood’s film and TV writers will begin negotiations with the major studios on a new film and TV contract this week. The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced in a joint statement that talks on a new three-year contract would begin Thursday. The guild’s current contract expires May 1.
Members of the Writers Guild of America on Saturday overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract that provides 2% annual increase in pay to CBS News writers working in television and radio on local and national levels in New York, Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles.