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APA Reaches Deal With Writers Guild of America

APA has reached a deal with the Writers Guild of America, ending a nine-month standoff over allowing the agency to represent guild members.

The full-service agency made the announcement Tuesday, four days after the Gersh agency signed a similar deal with the WGA. It’s the sixth midsize agency to accede to the WGA’s bans on agency packaging fees and affiliate production ownership, joining Abrams, Buchwald, Gersh, Kaplan Stahler, Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston and Verve.

WGA members were told in April to fire their agents if the agents had not agreed to ban packaging fees and affiliate production. APA is joining more than 70 agencies allowed to represent WGA members. The agency also announced it will bring the Television and Motion Picture Literary businesses together under the banner of APA Scripted Literary.

APA literary partners Lee Dinstman, Lindsay Howard Parker, Sheryl Petersen, Kyle Loftus and David Saunders said: “APA is a full-service global boutique focused solely on artists, their careers, and their personal experience as clients of the agency. Representing writers has and will continue to be a cornerstone of this company. We remain tirelessly dedicated to offering clients the best possible representation with a forward-thinking approach. Integrating APA’s Television and Motion Picture departments will best position APA to provide distinct and effective service to clients in a marketplace driven by content creators and global streaming. Everything in our business starts with the written word. We are thrilled to return to work in support of writers effective immediately.”

The new division will bring together current respective department heads, Parker and Petersen, to lead the group that will continue to report to Executive Vice President and Head of Literary, Lee Dinstman. Hayden Meyer remains Head of Alternative and Factual Programming, and Steve Fisher remains Head of Intellectual Property.

CAA, UTA and WME — Hollywood’s three biggest agencies — sued the WGA and have consolidated their antitrust suits against the guild into a single action, accusing the union of engaging in an illegal group boycott. The guild has also filed its own countersuit, claiming the agencies are violating antitrust laws by negotiating solely through the Association of Talent Agents.

The WGA said that prior to April, APA represented more than 400 WGA members. It also said the APA agreement contains the same terms as the Gersh agreement signed last week.

“Our goal remains to move the negotiation process forward with the remaining unsigned agencies,” the guild said. “We will keep you updated as progress is made.”

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