As Vulture extensively reported last week, the Writers Guild of America was engaged in a big dispute with the Association of Talent Agents, a.k.a. the people hired to find the writers work and negotiate their pay. The crux of the fight boils down to money, due to, among other things, Hollywood agencies being allowed to freely collect “packaging fees” from production studios, as well as the parent companies of those agencies owning stakes in production companies of their own. But as of today, a vote has prevented agents from doing either of those going forward. Per the Los Angeles Times, members of the WGA overwhelmingly voted for a new code of conduct that would tighten these talent agency practices. (7,882 members were in favor, with 392 voting against.) This code could dramatically change the ways Hollywood agencies operate — if the ATA and WGA don’t reach a new contract by April 6, it will be implemented the following day.
“Now that the WGA is past its vote, we look forward to getting back into the room to work through an agreement that serves the best interest of writers, respects their individual choice, and prevents unnecessary disruption to our industry,” the ATA said in a statement. “We stand ready and waiting.” Prominent writers in the industry, such as Tina Fey, Shonda Rhimes, and Oliver Stone, had previously voiced their support for this new code.