Writers Guild of America Authorizes Managers, Attorneys to Act as Agents

The Hollywood Reporter
– Can the Writers Guild Turn a Manager Into an Agent? Probably Not

Manatt’s Alan Brunswick, a partner in the firm’s entertainment group, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about a recent conflict between talent agencies and the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

The WGA issued a letter on March 21 authorizing managers and attorneys to substitute for agents. However, Brunswick feels the letter is “legally ineffective” because it won’t protect these two groups from the consequences of violating state laws against acting as an agent without a license.

Under WGA rules, non-signatory agents are off limits to guild members. But Brunswick said that while the union has the right to conduct collective bargaining for its members, “individual bargaining is not collective bargaining.” The guild may not have the power to conduct individual bargaining, because its agreements with the major film studios stipulate that individual writers, not the guild, will engage in individual negotiation.

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