Outspoken playwright and TV author Jon Robin Baitz has become the first WGA member to openly field the guild’s directive that participants fire their talent brokers.
Baitz penned a letter to WGA leaders explaining his refusal to gash ties with his representatives at CAA, praising Bryan Lourd, Joe Cohen and others for sticking by him for the period of sinister times alongside with after the 2007-2008 strike. He credited Cohen with guiding him into the profitable profession as a TV author and series creator.
“He believed I would enact it, might presumably possess my dangle indicate, might presumably assemble compelling and viable TV. He never stopped believing in me and ensuing from that, I never gave up. And I like him,” Baitz wrote.
Baitz, known for ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters” and a huge quantity of performs, also slams the WGA for what he describes as indecent rhetoric that WGA has extinct in communicating with its participants on the flaws at stake within the guild’s company franchise negotiations with the Association of Means Agents.
Baitz accused the guild of getting “negotiated its legitimate concerns in a capability so bellicose, so histrionic, so lacking in scale and standpoint, that individually, you possess betrayed the interests of the membership.”
He expressly requires a replace within the leadership vogue at the guild. “It’s time for a inclined, measured, and regarded as philosophy, one which would no longer depend on the politics of divisiveness to which we’ve become all-too accustomed,” Baitz wrote. “It’s time for grown-usawho enact no longer solid the final industry into chaos and darkness. It’s time for a leadership that sees the massive adjustments occurring within the industry, and acknowledges that writers are no longer surrounded by perpetual enemies.”
Reps for the WGA West did now in a roundabout device answer to a do a matter to for observation Monday night time.
Baitz is the exception to the overwhelming stage of make stronger the guild has generated among participants with its advertising campaign to reform the principles that govern company illustration of WGA participants, alongside with a ban on businesses taking packaging costs and piquant with author customers in affiliated manufacturing affords. The Association of Means Agents, which reps the majority of principal talent businesses, has balked at the WGA’s attempted overhaul. The WGA on April 12 told its participants to gash ties with brokers that refuse to stay with the guild’s newly implemented Agency Code of Behavior.
Starting Friday night time, a proper movement of eminent showrunners and screenwriters started sharing their company termination letters and expressing solidarity with the guild. Many possess also expressed their dangle remorse and appreciation for long-serving and exhausting-working representatives. There’s known to be a different of eminent showrunners who possess do some stress on the guild to search out a technique to the company trail, but up to now most difficult Baitz has been vocal in a public device with his criticism.
One prime agent quipped on Monday that the social media posts from writers declaring their remorse at having to fire longtime devoted representatives “used to be initiating to sound a lot like ‘recommendations and prayers.’ ”
Here is Baitz’s letter in paunchy:
To the Guild Management:
I am deeply saddened to claim I will no longer accomplice with your insistence that I fire my brokers at CAA. This, despite my fervent belief within the WGA’s mission and accomplishments.
First, I possess made a deal with WIIP, a studio owned in section by CAA. If I were to fire them, I might presumably be a hypocrite, which is something I try very exhausting to steer certain of in existence, with admittedly mixed outcomes. Let me point out, my deal at WIIP for Charlotte Walsh Likes to Safe, which has an on-air justify of Eight episodes from Amazon, is the suitable I possess ever made. (You claim these profitable affords are “loss leaders”, per I know no longer what.) I, in turn, possess hired three participants of the WGA at producer phases, and am making a author’s assistant, a female diversity rent, into a employees author for the period of the first justify. But more importantly, I must be staunch about my relationship with my brokers, which I mediate isn’t all that irregular.
Bryan Lourd and I were chums for over thirty-five years. Appreciate many writers and their reps, our friendship started properly forward of we both had executed whatever stage of success we now possess. I met him when he used to be initiating out, and I used to be a young LA playwright represented by Michael Peretzian and George Lane, who were William Morris brokers at the time. They both at final became brokers at CAA.
Brian Siberell at CAA became my agent in 2000, but we first met in 1986 when George Lane launched us. Brian worked at HBO. I used to be a heart-broken playwright, and he sold a script from me, and it paid for my existence in NY for over a twelve months. I mediate it used to be a $27,000 deal. But again, I enact no longer mediate it is some distance all that irregular to possess this more or much less deeply stuffed personal historical past with one’s agent.
In 2002, Joe Cohen at CAA asked me to place confidence in working in TV. Aaron Sorkin had asked me to write an episode of West Cruise, which I did, and which used to be shot gleaming unparalleled note-for-note. Joe made that deal for yet again and yet again the WGA minimum. I cherished the work. In 2006, he made a deal for me to write a pilot for ABC, per a pitch about an American family fighting legacy, privilege, and their dangle historical past and ideological clashes. He saw me thru Brothers & Sisters, and he used to be staunch, forthright, form and straight-taking pictures, even after I created a field that would most difficult lead to my being fired from my dangle indicate. He used to be patient with me and working out. He also taught me to mediate when it comes to TV scripts. He believed I would enact it, might presumably possess my dangle indicate, might presumably assemble compelling and viable TV. He never stopped believing in me and ensuing from that, I never gave up. And I like him.
ABC/Disney drive-majeured me out of my dangle indicate within the wake of the WGA strike in 07/08, for the period of which I used to be outspoken on behalf of the dreams we were attempting to discontinuance. The Guild gleaming unparalleled shrugged, and I used to be on my dangle, but Joe Cohen and Bryan Lourd stuck by me, and Brian Siberell made certain I went aid to work immediately, as rapidly as I would course of this trauma. They all believed in me. As some distance as I know, I used to be the suitable WGA member with a indicate ON THE AIR to be forced out by a so-called Act of God clause.
I possess supported the Guild as a topic of judgment of right and mistaken since I became a member over 30 years ago. But something has came about. I am gazing participants I like being characterised as racketeers and criminals. Certain, there are staunch adjustments wanted when it comes to the businesses and packaging and subsidiary manufacturing companies, however the concept that these participants are simply avaricious and greedy exploiters is lacking in nuance or context, and would no longer appear to exhaust into legend the massive adjustments within the media landscape and the ever-increasing energy of the studios and streaming products and companies. By turning our brokers into villains, by insisting on a tone of incivility, you possess alienated necessary allies when light and patience might presumably possess executed staunch outcomes.
Indeed, the WGA has negotiated its legitimate concerns in a capability so bellicose, so histrionic, so lacking in scale and standpoint, that individually, you possess betrayed the interests of the membership. You’ve employed a scorched earth protection that disregards the a lot of, and in my case, existence-changing, investments that brokers possess made in our careers — the never-ending hours, the conversations, the hand-conserving, and, in tell, the nurturing and safety of younger, rising voices.
The Management went to battle avidly, and with glee, and all people reading this is conscious of this to be criminal. There used to be blood lust at work. David Simon used to be treated like a rock principal particular person for spinning out a scenario in which he might presumably gash the tires of brokers. Membership used to be tickled. Maintain that. Writers cheered him on, desirous to fall the Heinous Gargantuan Three. No standpoint used to be allowed. No consideration of the changing dynamics of the leisure industry used to be permitted. Our brokers are actually our enemies.
I give it some view is time for a brand unique more or much less leadership to exhaust the helm at the WGA. It’s time for a inclined, measured, and regarded as philosophy, one which would no longer depend on the politics of divisiveness to which we’ve become all-too accustomed. It’s time for grown-usawho enact no longer solid the final industry into chaos and darkness. It’s time for a leadership that sees the massive adjustments occurring within the industry, and acknowledges that writers are no longer surrounded by perpetual enemies.
It’s time to reject the white hot rage, the need to punish, the bustle to bolt down the extant constructions, simply within the title of ‘fairness’. It’s time for the WGA to be taught that adults attain to the table to search out alternate choices, now to no longer search out cause for battle.
I am a union man, but I enact no longer turn my aid on my staunch chums. I will no longer be the actual person you wish me to be. I will no longer decrease ties with my brokers, because I might presumably be forsaking participants I like, participants which possess helped me discover a existence where I’m going backward and forward between two sorts I know and relish.
The WGA is a principal, necessary, and proud union. The gains it has made for writers over time possess made it that you just would be able to presumably presumably mediate of to possess pensions and scientific care that is unparalleled and to enter into industry agreements with the certainty that the Guild is there to provide protection to and aid up its participants. And even in this battle, the Guild has in truth handy dreams — I am no longer disputing that. But for your complete decades of combating studios and networks, for your complete battles with staunch adversaries, something has spilled over and affected your outlook and standpoint in this warfare with the ATA.
Enable us to no longer be section of basically the most stylish cruelty and coarseness of the realm. The ATA is listening — you possess them at the table. Please safe a capability forward that would no longer indicate disruption and shattered relationships. Be acutely conscious that brokers are participants and possess emotions, households, participants, and sensitivities, factual like us. I possess viewed too many unintended penalties attain criminal in historical past and in existence, and I am terrified the ones right here will possess tragic penalties.
With sorrow and appreciate,