A PYMNTS Company

Writers Guild Tells Federal Judge He Can’t End Boycott of CAA, WME Agents

 |  December 6, 2020

On Friday night, December 4, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) told a California federal court that it lacks the authority to issue an injunction thanks to a seminal 1932 labor law. The union told the judge he lacks jurisdiction to issue an injunction being requested by the two talent agencies, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Ever since the Summer of 2019 when the Hollywood war between its writers and top talent agencies got to court, a question has loomed over proceedings: Is the Writers Guild of America conducting legitimate union activity by ordering members to fire agents who won’t give up packaging fees and cap affiliate production? 

Both CAA and WME are currently pressing US District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. to immediately halt a boycott that they say is irreparably harming their business.

Previously in the case, after the talent agencies brought antitrust claims, the WGA sought dismissal on the basis that there were statutory and non-statutory labor exemptions from antitrust laws for circumstances when workers organize themselves to improve their working conditions. The topic was so important that the Department of Justice led by Donald Trump appointees filed an extremely rare statement of interest telling the judge to construe the labor exemption narrowly.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.