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.

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.