After the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Association of Talent Agents (ATA) failed to negotiate a new contract, thousands of writers have officially fired their agents. The WGA ordered its 15 thousand-plus members to do so after the ATA refused to adhere to the WGA’s new Code of Conduct, which asks talent agents to cease the practice of bundling talent for the network (click here for a more in-depth breakdown of the complicated drama between the WGA and ATA).

Many WGA members have taken to social media to share the letters of termination that were sent to the agencies. Some of the higher-profile members include Patton Oswalt, Steven Knight, and Damon Lindelof. Check out their posts below:

On Friday, the WGA put out an official statement:

“Today’s announcement that Endeavor plans to become a publicly-traded company only strengthens the call for the conflicted and illegal practices of the major talent agencies to end. It is impossible to reconcile the fundamental purpose of an agency — to serve the best interests of its clients — with the business of maximizing returns for Wall Street. Writers will not be leveraged by their own representatives into assets for investors.”

Until the two can come to some sort of resolution, it will be nearly impossible for new writers to secure representation and thus get their work to potential producers. It also means that the only sure-fire way for writers to secure work is through legal litigation, which only the better-off will be able to afford. Additionally, the WGA and ATA likely won’t come to an agreement until one wins over the other in court.

It’s also worth noting that the WGA’s new Code of Conduct, which required its members to fire their agents if a new deal could not be reached, was by in large a united effort voted for by its members. Also keep in mind that many of the thousands of WGA members that opted to support their guild as opposed to their agents, have had strong working relationships– in many cases even friendships– with their agents. This only complicates the issue further.

I’ll keep you updated on this unfortunate story as it continues to develop.

What do you make about this news? Are you surprised that the two guilds could not come to an understanding, or did you expect as much? Are you worried about what this could mean for the industry? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts!


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