The WGA confirmed on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with the CAA for a new franchise agreement that will allow guild members to return to the agency. “The WGA and CAA have reached an agreement on a franchise agreement,” the guild told its members today. “Therefore, with immediate effect, CAA may again represent Guild members for covered writing services. WGA and CAA have also agreed to withdraw the lawsuits each brought against the other in Federal Court. ”
This leaves WME as the last major agency to have signed the guild franchise agreement yet.
In clarifying the terms of the agreement, the guild said today that the agreement “contains the same terms as set out in the ICM / UTA agreement and protects writers in the three fundamental areas that the guild has put focus since the start of the campaign. :
CAA and WGA reach deal that will bring writers back into agency fold; Legal action abandoned; WME hope this is the next one
- Information on contracts, transaction notes and invoices will be provided to the Guild, allowing the WGA and the agency to work together to systematically resolve late payments and free labor.
- Strict 20% limitation on agency ownership of production entities.
- A sunset period that ends the practice of packaging by June 30, 2022.
Read the full agreement here.
“Over the past few months,” the guild said, “the WGA, CAA and its private equity owner TPG have negotiated the steps the agency needs to take to comply with the franchise agreement (i.e. d. The assignment of wiip) and protections to resolve the unique conflicts of interest presented by the ownership of CAA by TPG. There are three additional levels of protection for writers that were negotiated in the cover letter (read it in full here).
Here is a brief summary of these additional terms:
“Pursuant to the franchise agreement, CAA and TPG have placed their interests in wiip in an irrevocable blind trust with a clear mandate for the trustee to sell that interest at the required 20% or less. CAA and TPG have further agreed to relinquish operational oversight of wiip while their property interests are in blind trust. The covering letter provides for a reasonable period of time for the sale of CAA and TPG’s interests in wiip, and for serious consequences if the sale is not completed by that date, including the right for the WGA to suspend the capacity of CAA to represent writers, and the requirement that CAA place in escrow any fees or commissions related to wiip it receives during the period of suspension until the sale is completed. The Guild agreed to keep the date confidential so as not to affect the Trustee’s negotiations with potential buyers.
The cover letter, the guild said, “assures that CAA and any TPG entity will not jointly have a greater than 20% stake in another affiliated production company.” In addition, the TPG fund that owns CAA has agreed that it will not hold a greater than 20% interest in an affiliated production company, whether or not CAA also owns an interest in the entity.
“The cover letter also contains precautions for situations that involve TPG entities – that is, investment funds – that do not have a stake in CAA but have a stake greater than 20%. in a production company. TPG has agreed, in the future, to disclose the identity of all these entities. To date, there is only one such company, and it is not a signatory of the MBA. If CAA negotiates an agreement with such an entity, even though CAA does not itself own an equity interest in it, the agency must disclose to its author clients the existence of TPG ownership. The CAA must also provide the Guild with a copy of the offer and the points of the final offer. This transparency will allow the Guild to ensure that CAA negotiates appropriate agreements for writers in these circumstances, and that TPG’s involvement does not remove the value of writers’ services. If there are any irregularities in the writer’s contracts – like depressed pilot script fees, for example – the Guild will have the information they need to investigate and take any necessary corrective action with the CAA. ”
The guild added that it “appreciates the hard work of CAA and TPG to resolve the complex issues involved in this negotiation.”