Writers Guild, Gersh Agency come to agreement

Great news for screenwriters and TV writers represented by Gersh. Co-presidents David and Bob Gersh said on Friday that the talent agency has signed an agreement with the Writers Guild of America and will resume representing writers immediately.

Hollywood agencies and the WGA have been at stand-off since April of 2019 over the practice of packaging and the fees that agencies collect for bundling talent together for networks and studios. The WGA has argued that such practices have created conflicts of interests for agencies that hurt Hollywood writers.

The agreement comes after months of negotiations between Gersh and the guild. Gersh is the latest ATA member to break ranks and sign the guild’s new franchise agreement.

The other four association members to sign make WGA deals are Buchwald, which also is a full-service agency; literary boutiques the Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston agency and the Kaplan Stahler Agency; and Pantheon. Non-ATA member Verve, also lit-focused, was the first mid-size agency to reach an agreement with the WGA.

“Writers are vital to our industry, and Gersh has a long and proud history representing them,” the Gersh brothers said in a joint statement. “We are deeply committed to our writers and their interests, and appreciate their patience. We enthusiastically look forward to resuming our work on their behalf.”

In a statement sent to its literary clients, the agency said: “Thank you for your patience. Gersh has represented writers for over 70 years, helping to build and nurture some of the industry’s top literary talent. We are deeply committed to you and your interests and are eager to resume our work on your behalf.”

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The deal, which will take affect immediately, makes Gersh the first full-service agency to come to terms with the WGA. Specifics of the deal have not been disclosed.

The ATA in response to today’s news rereleased a statement it made in November after Rothman Brecher signed with the guild.

“Writers who agree with the WGA leadership are of course free to join the agencies that have signed with WGA, and writers who care most about other issues should be free to join agencies that offer services that meet their needs. There is no reason for WGA to continue to restrict the freedom of writers. Writers should be able to decide which issues are most important to them and then freely decide which agent to hire.”

SOURCE: The Wrap