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Old 07-20-2019, 06:31 PM   #54
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,910
Default Re: WGA Offers a One Year Respite?

motions to dismiss at the pleading stage are rarely successful, absent a clearly poorly-pleaded complaint, because the court has to construe all factual allegations in favor of the plaintiff at this point, i.e., assuming the truth of everything alleged in the complaint, does it at least state a claim for which relief can be granted. although i have not read the pleadings or these motions, i'll presume that WGA counsel are not dum-dums and would not file anything that could be summarily knocked out on a motion to dismiss. so all the back and forth in the litigation at this point is largely posturing and defining the actual scope of the case for purposes of discovery (where, if it proceeds that far, then you'll really see which side has the actual balls to go through with things like opening their books to the other side)

the ATA line appears to continue to be "well, they're writers and we know they will eventually fold because they always fold." not really a strategy i would want to bet my entire business on but there it is:

"The protracted standoff has wider repercussions for Hollywood because it could impede the staffing of shows and disrupt the flow of projects next year. Some analysts believe it could also portend a wide labor conflict next summer when contracts for all three major talent unions expire."

I'm not sure where this idea that firing the agents has either impeded staffing (all the shows on the air are fully and competently staffed, afaik) or disrupt the flow of development (it's just gearing up for next season but i continue to read about plenty of deals and sales in the trades on a weekly basis). magical thinking is magical, i guess

and i'm still waiting for just one of these doomsday articles to be written from the agency side. never do we hear about the fired agents' anxiety about when/if they're actually going to get back to their jobs -- which actually have been disrupted in the way that everyone keeps predicting the writers' will be. but i would not be surprised if things continue on this current path through the end of the year to wake up sometime after Xmas, when all the pilot orders will have been made by the networks and studios, for there to be a "Black Monday" event when the non-Big Four agencies are forced to cut their lit departments down to the bone.

reading the CAA history "Power House" recently gave me a greater appreciation for the origins of TV packaging and the extent to which it built these mega-agencies far beyond their 10% foundations. and i'm more convinced than ever that they'll never ever ever give up that paradigm except upon pain of death or a court decree along the lines of DOJ forcing Lew Wasserman and MCA to choose between agenting and producing. as the LAT article suggests, the risk to WGA leadership is that time isn't on their side to resolve that question before they have to renegotiate the MBA with the studios. the appetite for two big fights in one year is probably not there for the same 95% who approved the ATA resolution.
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