Apr 16, 2019

Hollywood stuck in limbo as writers, talent agents clash

In this image, the Hollywood sign is visible in the background as a man stands and looks at it.

Photo: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

There is still no sign of relief in Hollywood, where writers have waged war against talent agents for what they say is unfair representation.

Why it matters: Without a deal between the two groups, Hollywood is stuck in a messy limbo that could leave thousands of writers without work and could put hundreds of studio projects on hold.

Details: Writers Guild of America told its 13,000 members to fire their talent agents at midnight last Saturday, unless their agents sign a new "Code of Conduct" agreement that promises they will do away with packaging fees and their stakes in production companies. (Writers think those new business ventures create a conflict of interest for talent agents.)

How it's playing out: Most of the Guild's writers agree with the Code of Conduct, but most of the agents who represent them don't, leaving many writers without representation.

Yes, but: Even for the agents that have signed the code, Deadline reports that they aren't getting calls from writers looking for representation.

The bottom line: The hope was that the two sides would come up with a compromise before the current negotiations expired last Friday. Writers like Stephen King have already expressed their frustration with the situation.

Go deeper: Thousands of writers told to axe agents at midnight

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