Patience is a virtue, and the writers who fired their agents to protest packing fees are beginning to reap the benefits.
When the WGA approached the agencies and asked them to stop packaging fees, they were met with a lot of blowback. Writers circled the wagons, fired the agencies, and said things had to change. Verse, Gersh, APA, Paradigm, and lots of small agencies eventually signed the code of conduct.
In April 2019, over 7,000 writers fired their agents at the direction of the WGA, and the guild filed suit against the four largest agencies. In the time since, Endeavor, the parent company of WME, had planned and then scuttled an initial public offering.
Things were tense, but no matter what, the four largest agencies—WME, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners—had been steadfast in their refusal to sign.
Well, we're in the middle of a pandemic and nothing can really be made in Hollywood, but scripts can be bought, sold, and commissioned. Those commissions would be really good for places struggling to stay afloat with no sign of things getting better this year.
Places have shrunk payrolls, there have been massive layoffs, and even a lawsuit between the WGA and the big four, which had been ironclad together.
But times change.
But according to Variety, UTA has come around and closed a deal with WGA, signing the code of conduct. They can now go back to representing writers. This will open them to the income they can commission on writers, and you can assume they will be pushing many projects.
Also, you can assume UTA will pull out of the counter lawsuit against the WGA and have the lawsuit dropped against them and packaging fees.
This is great news for the WGA.