UPDATED with more details and quotes: The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents have not agreed on a new franchise agreement, setting the stage for unprecedented upheavals in the film and television industries. Thousands of writers are now instructed by the guild to dismiss their agents, and expect in the coming days that both sides will use their threats to sue each other.
The WGA-ATA's Tug Of War Is Turning The Script In Hollywood & What's Next
The guild said this afternoon that from midnight every agency must be required to sign the new code of conduct , However, Deadline has learned that the Code is effective immediately. Writers must dismiss any agency that refuses to sign them. (Read the guild leaders' letter to members below.) All the major agencies have said they will not sign, so the unprecedented struggle between writers and their agents will soon take place.
These include the Big Four agencies ̵
"The Writers Guild of America has introduced a new code of conduct for agencies that represent writers for their work under a WGA collective agreement. WGA members can only be represented by agencies signed by the Code of Conduct for WGA-covered work.
"The Code of Conduct is a groundbreaking agreement that eliminates the agencies' incentives with their clients and the conflicts of interest associated with the agencies" Receiving packaging fees and financial interest in manufacturing companies. Agencies subject to the Code can only provide writers for a 10% commission and may not be paid packaging fees or affiliated with a company that produces or distributes movies. "
To this end, the guild has today released a series of new instructions for guild members In determining the new law, the guild declared its members:
" If you are represented by an agency that is not signed in the Code of Conduct You notify the Agency that it may not represent you in relation to your WGA Covered Work until you subscribe to the Code of Conduct.
"You must not allow a non-franchise agent to represent you in relation to future WGA-covered work, including transactions that were first discussed but have not yet completed the implementation of the Code of Conduct.
"You are not prohibited from consulting or communicating with a non-franchise agent for other matters, including:
(a) Non-WGA employees or services;
b) projects or agreements concluded prior to the implementation of the Code of Conduct;
c) personal matters; or
(d) Discussions requiring the agent to sign the Code of Conduct.
In addition, members are advised that if they do not fire agents who refuse to sign the Code, "in accordance with the discipline, they are subject to Article X of the WGA West Constitution.
A one-week contract extension did not result in a new agreement, the guild said, because the agencies did not make a "fair offer". On their "Unacceptable Proposals" The Guild said, "The agencies insist on continuing their major conflicts of interest. They insist on continuing to produce and being our employers. Your "offer" on the packaging is to share 1% of your packaging fee with the authors. "
" So, what happens now? "The guild asked rhetorically." In a strike situation, we all know that we need not cross the picket line or write for a hit company, and we are asked to show our solidarity through pickets that are the public and moral face of ours  "In this situation, two actions are required of all members: Do not allow a franchise agent to represent you in relation to future WGA work Secondly: Inform your agency in a written letter that they are They can not represent them until they have signed the Code of Conduct.
"We know that we are entering uncharted waters together, life that deviates from the present system may be different degrees of disorientation, but it has become clear that a big change is necessary, we will not just stand together, we will stand for each other, we support each other. We can do that.
There will be no strike by the writer per se. Writers and showrunners who have deals will continue to work, but in the future, new agents will have to be found to get jobs for authors, or they may be hired directly by showrunners – their fellow guild members – via a new script submission system. The WGA says it will also represent writers' personal managers and lawyers to replace their relieved agents, but the ATA says it is unlawful and has vowed to bring the matter to court.
WGA's old franchise agreement with the ATA – known as the Artists Managers Agreement – had not been renegotiated for 43 years. It allowed packaging, but the guild was never happy about it, even when she signed the contract in 1976.
The Guild held a number of general assemblies in March last year To lay the groundwork for the renegotiation of the agreement, he said that among his members was concern over the "conflict of interest in production and packaging "increased. In interviews with numerous writers who left these early meetings, membership was clearly supported because the guild's goals were strong and stronger. "We agree" was the common refrain.
The Guild made the first big step in this direction in April 2018, when it issued the ATA with a twelve-month notice from its existing contract, and then submitted to the ATA the list of proposals it said
The Discussions about a new deal began on February 5, with both sides soon accusing each other of not negotiating in good faith. It was not until this week that serious negotiations began after the April 6 deadline was extended to provide one last chance to avoid what the ATA considered "chaos" for the industry. This "chaos" or what the guild calls "reorientation" is now here.
Here is the letter from the guild leaders to today's members:
12. April 2019
Last At the request of the agencies, the guild gave a fair offer on Saturday six days after the end of the AMBA deadline. They did not do it. Among other unacceptable proposals, the agencies insist on continuing their major conflicts of interest. They insist on continuing to produce and being our employers. Your "offer" on the packaging is to share 1% of the packaging fee with the writers. Here is the answer that David Goodman presented this afternoon at the negotiating table on the proposal submitted yesterday by the ATA.
So there is no agreement. Membership voted 95.3% to implement an agency code of conduct when no negotiated settlement was reached, and the elected leadership was set as a deadline today. As of midnight, every agency must sign the code. And according to WGA Working Rule 23, WGA members can not be represented by agencies that have not signed the code.
What happens now? In a strike situation, we all know that we can not cross the pickets or write for a business, and we are called upon to express our solidarity through pickets that are the public and moral face of our dispute.  In this situation, two actions are required of all members: Do not allow a franchise agent to represent you in relation to future WGA work. Second, inform your agency in a written form that they can not represent you until they have signed the Code of Conduct.
Here is the form in simple and respectful language that accomplishes this task. Members represented by agencies that are not signed in the Code of Conduct must sign the letter by e-mail. This letter legally protects you even in future commission disputes. The guild will forward all letters in bulk to the relevant authorities within a few days. Many of you would like to inform your agents personally. We encourage you to do so and ask them to sign the Code.
We know that you may have questions about how to deal with your agent. Here we have compiled a set of implementation rules and FAQs that describe how to handle agencies that are no longer franchised agencies. It is important that you read the rules and the FAQ carefully. If you have further questions about your situation, contact the guild at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that together we will venture into unknown waters. Life, which deviates from the present system, can be different degrees of disorientation. However, it has become clear that a big change is necessary.
We will not only stand together, but we will stand up for each other, support each other. We can do that.
Negotiating Committee for WGA Agency Agreement
Chris Keyser, Co-Chairman
David Shore, Co-Chairman
Meredith Stiehm, Co-Chairman
             ] Tracey Scott Wilson
Patric M. Verrone
David A. Goodman, President WGAW, ex-officio
Marjorie David, Vice President WGAW, ex officio
Aaron Mendelsohn, Secretary of State and Treasurer WGAW, ex officio
Beau Willimon, President WGAE, ex officio
Jeremy Pikser, Vice President WGAE, ex officio
Bob Schneider, Secretary-Treasurer WGAE, ex officio