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On December 23rd, 2020, WME (William Morris Endeavor) proposed a new deal to WGA after a 20-month boycott.

WGA’s boycott sparked when they discovered of WME’s use of “packaging fees,” a method where a talent agency is allowed to charge a percentage of the project’s overall budget and/or profit. In WGA’s terms, they refute all use of packaging fees and believe it to be harmful to writers, directors, and actors.

WME is attempting to jumpstart a future in writer-clients; however, WME is unwilling to cooperate in changing specific terms to fit WGA’s franchise agreement and are even trying to alter a past proposal written by CAA. CAA and WME are the two largest agencies in the film industry.

Moreover, Ari Greenburg, president of WME, has criticized WGA in the past, stating that they are unwilling to support their writers full-heartedly. Greenburg’s criticisms come from a need for rigorous and uncompromising terms between the writer and the guild.

On December 29th, 2020, WGA rejected WME’s proposal due to WME’s refusal to agree to WGA’s franchise agreement terms fully. Even though WME decided to end packaging, WGA still found the proposal unsatisfactory. WGA believes that WME’s requests contained conflicts of interest and are planning to hold leverage over WME. It is only a matter of time before WME is forced to either ultimately succumb to WGA’s terms or implement a different strategy. It is also theorized that WGE created a proposal to mitigate writers moving guilds, but this has no factual basis at the moment.

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Written by Sean Harless for MobCity Productions.

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