UTA Nears Deal With WGA

In what would be the biggest get yet for the WGA in its yearlong standoff with the top agencies, the scribes’ union appears close tonight to an agreement with UTA.

We hear that at a captains meeting Tuesday evening, WGA West president David Goodman revealed to members that the union were finalizing a deal with “major agency.” Official details of the possible breakthrough agreement could coming as soon as Wednesday, sources say.

The agency in question was not identified.

However, multiple sources point to UTA as the likely new WGA signatory.

Attendees at the virtual labor meeting were also told that there is another significant agency pact was brewing too, we’ve learned. No further details on that were provided either.

UTA, CAA and WME have been embroiled in litigation with the WGA over the guild’s multi-pronged efforts to end packaging deals and affiliate production in the industry. it is unclear how a pending agreement would impact that and whether UTA signing with the WGA would settle its lawsuit with the guild.

Back in April 2019, the WGA instructed its members to fire their agents if their organizations would not ink deals pulling the plug on the lucrative practice of packaging. After a successful re-election campaign late last year, Goodman became even more emboldened in his anti-packaging stance, both and outside the courts. 

UTA has been possibly the most active in communicating with the WGA leadership among the big agencies. Co-president Jay Sures made an overture to WGA West president David A. Goodman, a former UTA client, in May 2019, trying to restart the stalled negotiations between the guild and the Association of Talent Agents.

Like some other agencies, UTA was hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic-related production shutdown. The agency in March instituted pay cuts; in May, it furloughed dozens of staffers, mostly assistants.

Agencies that have already signed agreements with the WGA, including Gersh, Paradigm and APA.


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