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Another US agent signs with WGA

Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston has become the latest US agency to agree to the Writers Guild of America’s (WGA) new code of conduct, following a prolonged stand-off.

The dispute between the WGA and the leading talent agents in the US has rumbled on all year. The new code does away with controversial packaging fees and aims to put a stop to the increasing tendency of agencies to operate their own production houses – something the WGA says creates a conflict of interest.

The Rothman deal includes compromises on both issues, according to a statement from the WGA issued on Monday. Agencies will now be given until January 2021 to phase out packaging fees, and will be allowed to own a 5% stake in production companies.

Talks on the code collapsed twice at the start of the year culminating in April’s mass firing of agents by 7,000 WGA members at the guild’s request.

Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston will now once again be able to represent WGA members having agreed to the revised code.

Talks with the US Association of Talent Agents (ATA) resumed in the summer but little progress has been made and the ‘big four’ agencies of William Morris Endeavor (WME), CAA, UTA and ICM are now locked in a legal battle with the WGA which is set for court in January.

More than 70 small and mid-sized agencies have signed up to the code, with Rothman following the likes of Verve Talent and Literary Agency back in May, and more recently The Abrams Agency.

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