It’s the entertainment news story that seemingly won’t end. We’ve now long passed the 1.5-year mark for the standoff between the Writers’ Guild of America and some of the biggest agencies. With almost everyone else has found their own path to an amicable settlement, including the CAA just last week, WME remains the only holdout. Despite last week’s court appearance, driven primarily by the WME, it seems there may finally be a resolution at hand. BLAKE & WANG P.A Entertainment Attorney Los Angeles take a closer look.

The source of the dispute

As we’ve looked at several times before, the source of the long-running dispute lies in packaging fees and how the WGA feels they are negatively impacting their writers. It’s not that simple, however. The WGA made this part of a bigger attempt to curtail the interests of larger agencies in production companies, a move they feel benefits no one except the agencies themselves. As a result, they say their writers have been locked out in the cold- pawns to the battle, but receiving no incentives themselves for their hard work. Among the demands they have made, besides the removal of packaging deals, is the demand that agencies keep themselves to a 20% or less ownership share in production entities.

For several of the biggest agencies, this in itself has been a sticky issue to resolve with the WGA, given existing ownership assets past that point. While we initially saw the top 4 all holding out against the deal, we’ve slowly seen three come to the bargaining table with deals of their own. Just last week the CAA hashed out a favorable resolution with the WGA.

Only WME refused to break the 20-month boycott.

Heading to court

Only last week, BLAKE & WANG P.A reported on the initial stages of a court proceeding brought by the WME to have the boycott overturned in court. It was clear from the start, however, that even the judge was encouraging further arbitration outside of the courtroom, for all the matter was accepted under submission. It seems Judge Birotte’s words may have struck a chord. Just this week we’ve seen the WME approach the WGA with a new proposal. If accepted by the guild, it could well finally break the stalemate.

A brief statement

We don’t currently have much information to work with, however. The WME has issued a sparse statement, indicating that their proposal has been amended and submitted to the WGA as a good-faith effort to jumpstart’ negotiations. It seems they’re keen to get the matter resolved by the opening of the post-holiday filming season, as they’ve also indicated that they are willing to come to the table over the holidays if that’s what it takes.

Despite this statement, they’ve given no indication of what the changes to the proposal are. All the same, coming on top of the CAA’s signed deal, it suggests there is, at the least, a possible path forward for a resolution to the conflict.

Author's Bio: 

Hi, As an author, I have written so many articles on Entertainment law. When I am not writing then I like to watch movies and TV dramas.

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