WME Blasts WGA for Lack of Negotiations in Franchise Agreement Battle

WME fired back at the WGA on Wednesday, faulting the union for failing to engage in negotiations to settle the fight that has kept WME from representing writers for nearly two years.

WME issued a lengthy statement in response to a letter sent Tuesday evening to WGA members by the guild’s negotiating committee in which the union rejected the latest proposal from WME, sent on Dec. 23.

WME asserted that the guild has so far refused to engage in negotiations on specific issues that WME is facing as its parent company Endeavor sets a plan for selling most of its stake in Endeavor Content. That divestment is necessary for WME to comply with the guild’s tightened rules regarding ownership of production or distribution assets as a condition of representing film and TV writers and showrunners.

“WME presented an updated proposal that made a series of concessions just four days following our hearing on December 18. We made clear our willingness to engage in further dialogue with the WGA at any point during the holidays,” WME said in a statement. “We know this is how every other agency finally reached a deal—they had the opportunity to have a discussion with the Guild to address their specific needs, and that is what we have continuously tried to do in an effort to get a deal done.  However, instead of responding directly to us, once again we learned indirectly through media reports that our proposal was rejected by way of a leaked letter the WGA Negotiating Committee sent to Guild members. There was no counter to our proposal, nor any offer to meet and engage. While we find this tactic unhelpful in reaching a resolution, we will persist in our efforts toward reaching a new franchise agreement.”

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