WGA President Says Pandemic ‘Sped Up’ Packaging Fee Victory: ‘Agencies Aren’t Out of the Writer Business’

David Goodman also hints at how Hollywood writers’ relationship with their agents may shift after three-year battle

WGA West President David A. Goodman credits the coronavirus pandemic for bringing Hollywood’s major agencies more quickly around to the idea of signing on to the guild’s new franchise agreement and eliminating packaging fees for film and TV projects.

The pandemic “might have sped up talks, but our whole strategy was that agencies couldn’t get out of the writer business,” Goodman told TheWrap days after WME became the last of the major agencies to agree to the WGA’s terms and end a three-year standoff. “The idea that the pandemic sped that up is very interesting to me. It would mean that we are more important than even we thought, that this company couldn’t ride out the pandemic without income from writer salaries on television shows. I don’t know if that’s true. I do think that this business model is based around representing writers, period.”

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster