And so begins the standoff. The Screen Actors Guild and the Association of Talent Agents were in an uneasy stalemate Monday as they began the process of navigating uncharted waters for actors and agents in the wake of the rejection by SAG members of the new agency franchise agreement. There was speculation on both sides about what may transpire in an unprecedented atmosphere of no guild-agency formal agreement in place.
Agents were gearing up for today's ATA national board meeting, while SAG leadership was still mum about how it will deal with agencies that step outside the decades-old rules that previously governed the actor-agent relationship. The ATA board is expected to approve the recently negotiated franchise agreement with the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists and also to sketch out what steps will be taken by its member agencies in the coming days.
Industry observers were scratching their heads about what the next move will be for either side. SAG is seen as being in a predicament of possibly forcing its members to choose between their agents and their union if the guild enforces the rules of the expired franchise agreement -- including the key provisions about agency investments and commission fees.
Peter Kiefer writes for The Hollywood Reporter