The Agencies Crumble and Surrender
August 15, 2020 8:39 AM   Subscribe

MK Lees describes how the Writers Guild of America West brought Hollywood talent agencies to heel and ended the practice of packaging fees that was eating into their compensation.
posted by adrianhon (8 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Would writers be starved out with no agents to procure work for them?

If I ever start a company that makes me a billionaire from the sale one of the things I'm going to use that money to bankroll mutual aid for people in unions when they strike.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:17 AM on August 15 [5 favorites]

Writers are always getting screwed over it seems.
posted by folklore724 at 11:30 AM on August 15

WOW. This is great news.

I clearly remember learning about this practice previously here on MetaFilter; the David Simon piece explaining the evil of packaging linked in that post was a brilliantly written eye-opener.

I am so glad the good guys won on this, and so glad the union - the organization, and the individual members - did all the hard, risky work to make it happen.

I do wish a bunch of the people who perpetrated these financial crimes were getting their illegal gains clawed back, but I'll celebrate the enormous victory we get.

Thank you for posting this, adrianhon!
posted by kristi at 12:26 PM on August 15 [3 favorites]

Very interesting point later on in the article that the WGA won despite lacking their biggest form of leverage at the end: a general writers' strike threatening a production shutdown strike wouldn't have meant anything with production shut down anyways thanks to COVID.

Thanks for sharing this, adrianhon. I'll be keeping my eye on Organizing Work and MK Lees after this.
posted by col_pogo at 3:19 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]

What an excellent read. DIRECT ACTION GETS THE GOODS.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 4:49 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]

This is a great reminder that the bosses need workers more than the workers need bosses.
posted by coberh at 8:16 PM on August 15 [3 favorites]

Great read, thanks for posting. Would make a good movie...
posted by pianissimo at 7:02 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]

We live in an era of so many rampant conflicts of interest. David Simon's great piece shouldn't even have been necessary. Sometimes the crime is happening in plain sight.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:27 AM on August 20

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