In a news release from the Writer's Guild of America, the union announces that, effective July 1, 2022, franchised talent and lit agents working on WGA covered projects will no longer be permitted to use a package-fee model.
Under a Package fee model, agencies receive a fee from the studio for assembling a package of talent. Instead, starting July 1, 2022, agencies must operate on a commission basis, under which the agency’s commission is calculated as a percentage of writer compensation. Rider W of the Franchise Agreement caps the agency’s commission at 10%.
Writer's Guild Rules prohibit non-franchised agents from representing their members.
Packaging deals have been around for quite a long time, but have come under fire from many fronts, largely on grounds that it represents a conflict of interest for agents representing talent to receive fees from the companies that hire that talent. Others complain that the practice of packaging deprives talent from competing agencies access to opportunities, making packaged projects, essentially agency-controlled talent monopolies.