DGA Tells Writer-Directors They Don’t Have to Fire Agents for Directing-Related Work

At least “at the present time”

Last Updated: April 15, 2019 @ 6:13 PM

The Directors Guild of America has weighed in for the first time on the dispute between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood’s talent agencies, telling its members that they are not instructed to fire agents for directing-related work.

“There are important issues that we are examining in the context of the DGA agency agreement,” said the DGA in a statement. “As our Franchise Agreement is currently in effect, we are not instructing hyphenate members to terminate their agents with respect to DGA-covered services at the present time.”

While the Writers Guild has instructed its 15,000-plus membership to leave agencies over packaging fee disputes, other guilds have largely remained in a watch-and-see mode. SAG-AFTRA has only sent out a statement of support for the WGA but has not conveyed any stance on issues the guild has raised, including claims of conflict of interest by agencies when it comes to affiliated production companies.

“We congratulate the Writers Guild of America on their successful membership vote and applaud the Guild for taking steps in the best interests of their members,” said the SAG-AFTRA statement. “We stand with our sister union in the ongoing struggle to protect members in the entertainment industry.”

Many WGA members, including high-profile writer-directors like Aaron Sorkin and J.J. Abrams, have memberships in multiple guilds. For these multi-hyphenate members, it remains somewhat unclear whether their agents will continue to represent them for acting or directing work even as the WGA calls on those members to sever ties when it comes to writer representation.

“The Guild cannot direct you to leave your agency for work that isn’t covered by the Writers Guild,” said the WGA in a statement to members, “although we encourage you to be represented for all your work by a franchised agency that is not conflicted.”

Representatives for the DGA did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for further comment.

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