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WGA, ATA talks to resume this week

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the US Association of Talent Agencies (ATA) are set to reopen talks over their current dispute this Friday, according to US reports.

The renewed talks come more than a month since discussions first broke down between the ATA and the WGA over the latter’s introduction of a new code of conduct, which sought to do away with agency packaging deals and agency-affiliated production companies.

The dispute has become increasingly acrimonious, with the ATA and one of its main members last month describing an amendment to the WGA’s lawsuit against the agency organisation as “desperate” and a “publicity stunt.”

Meanwhile, the WGA last week criticised the “bad behaviours” of unnamed non-franchised agencies after it said it had received reports of them trying to commission or take package fees after its agreement with the ATA expired on April 12.

More than 7,000 of the WGA’s members, including high-profile writers such as Shonda Rhimes, David Simon and Damon Lindelof, fired their agents last month after members of the ATA, including CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners, refused to sign up the WGA’s revised code.

However, a small number of agencies have agreed to sign up, including US-based Verve Talent and Literary Agency.

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