Jon Robin Baitz

18 Apr 19
Deadline

Nearly a month ago, I hear, two prominent showrunners with concerns about the course of the WGA’s negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents and the divisive rhetoric on part of the guild shared their misgivings with several colleagues who had similar concerns. The duo then reached out to the WGA leadership, which was receptive, […]

18 Apr 19
Hmm Daily
For the dramatist interested in the contemporary human condition, an ideal subject is the scab. The act of choosing self-interest over collective interest is psychologically and morally overloaded, wrapped in self-deception as avoidance tries to assume the tone and form of courage. The playwright and television writer Jon Robin Baitz, in a letter published by Deadline Hollywood, used the current dispute between the Writers Guild of America and the Hollywood agent industry as an occasion to sketch a devastating portrait of this mindset. The scab mindset, in this case, belonged Jon Robin Baitz, who was informing his WGA colleagues that he was rejecting their collective demand that writers fire their agents, because he’s personally getting rich off the existing arrangement. Also because of civility, also honesty, also loyalty—virtues of his that he must, with regret, consider more important than “the urge to tear down the extant structures, simply in the name of ‘fairness’.” “I am a union man,” Baitz wrote, “but I do not turn my back on my loyal friends.” He then turned his back on his fellow members: I cannot be the person you want me to be. I cannot cut ties with my agents, because I would be forsaking people I love, people who have helped me create a life where I go back and forth between two forms I know and love. I cannot be the person you want me to be. It’s not me, it’s you. You want to make agents stop making deals where they get paid directly by the studios, rather than collecting a share of what they get the studios to pay the writers; I love my agents and my work. Irreconcilable differences. (Note: I’m not sure whether or not I’m a currently a member of the WGA East. I became a member when my last job, at what was then Gawker Media, unionized through it. I meant to send in dues to keep my membership active, but I may have forgotten to. I have never written for TV or movies or dealt with a Hollywood agency.) From end to end, the letter was a self-contradicting, blurting mess, a mix of vanity and false modesty, often impersonating one another. Baitz wrote that he could not join in the effort to disentangle the agents’ interests from the studios’ interests because he had, himself, just made a deal with a studio part-owned by his agents’ agency—a deal that was “the best I have ever made”—and so to object to the structural conflict of interest would be “hypocrisy.” Also he had used some of the budget from the deal for “making a writer’s assistant, a female diversity hire, into a staff writer.” To attack his agents would be to attack the people who had helped make the career of Jon Robin Baitz such a triumph: In 2002, Joe Cohen at CAA asked me to think about working in TV. Aaron Sorkin had asked me to write an episode of West Wing, which I did, and which was shot pretty much word-for-word. Joe made that deal for many times the WGA minimum. It was not that Baitz considered the writers’ entire complaint unfounded. “Yes,” he wrote, “there are real changes needed in terms of the agencies and packaging and subsidiary production companies.” Like most good people opting out of collective action, he was concerned about the tone and the tactics involved. The union, he wrote, was “insisting on a tone of incivility.” It was pursuing a “scorched earth policy”; it was driven by “blood lust” and “white hot rage” and the desire to “cast the entire business into chaos and darkness.” It was also, he wrote, being “bellicose,” “histrionic,” and “lacking in scale and perspective.” The union man and straight-to-camera wordsmith had spoken: someone was being histrionic.
16 Apr 19
Google News

Writer Jon Robin Baitz Defies WGA Order to Fire Agent, Slams Guild Leadership  Variety Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Weighs In On WGA’s Battle With Talent Agents  Deadline ‘Thousands’ of Members Have Signed Letters Firing Agents, WGA Says  TheWrap DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety View full coverage on Google News

16 Apr 19
Google News

DGA Tells Writer-Directors They Don’t Have to Fire Agents for Directing-Related Work  TheWrap Writer Jon Robin Baitz Defies WGA Order to Fire Agent, Slams Guild Leadership  Variety Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Weighs In On WGA’s Battle With Talent Agents  Deadline DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety View full coverage on Google […]

16 Apr 19
IPO EMPIRE

Writer Jon Robin Baitz Defies WGA Order to Fire Agent, Slams Guild Leadership  Variety Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Weighs In On WGA’s Battle With Talent Agents  Deadline ‘Thousands’ of Members Have Signed Letters Firing Agents, WGA Says  TheWrap DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety View full coverage on Google News from […]

16 Apr 19
Website Design Company

DGA Tells Writer-Directors They Don’t Have to Fire Agents for Directing-Related Work  TheWrap Writer Jon Robin Baitz Defies WGA Order to Fire Agent, Slams Guild Leadership  Variety Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Weighs In On WGA’s Battle With Talent Agents  Deadline DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety View full coverage on Google […]

16 Apr 19
Variety

Outspoken playwright and TV writer Jon Robin Baitz has become the first WGA member to openly challenge the guild’s directive that members fire their talent agents. Baitz penned a letter to WGA leaders explaining his refusal to sever ties with his representatives at CAA, praising Bryan Lourd, Joe Cohen and others for sticking by him […]

16 Apr 19
Nachrichten Welt

Der ausgesprochene Dramatiker und Fernsehschreiber Jon Robin Baitz ist das erste WGA-Mitglied, das die Gildenanweisung, dass Mitglieder ihre Talentagenten entlassen, offen herausfordert. Baitz schrieb einen Brief an die WGA-Führer, in dem er erklärte, dass er sich weigere, die Beziehungen zu seinen Vertretern bei CAA zu trennen, und lobte Bryan Lourd, Joe Cohen und andere, dass […]

16 Apr 19
Google News

Jon Robin Baitz First Major Writer To Rebuff WGA Demand He Fire His Agents  Deadline Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety WGA Disciplinary Trials Could Await Writers Who Don’t Notify Guild They’ve Fired Their Agents; Guild Responds – Update  Deadline #WGAStaffingBoost creator LaToya Morgan talks the importance […]

16 Apr 19
Website Design Company

Jon Robin Baitz First Major Writer To Rebuff WGA Demand He Fire His Agents  Deadline Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety WGA Disciplinary Trials Could Await Writers Who Don’t Notify Guild They’ve Fired Their Agents; Guild Responds – Update  Deadline TV writers help each other find work […]

16 Apr 19
Google News

Jon Robin Baitz First Major Writer To Rebuff WGA Demand He Fire His Agents  Deadline Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety WGA Disciplinary Trials Could Await Writers Who Don’t Notify Guild They’ve Fired Their Agents; Guild Responds – Update  Deadline TV writers help each other find work […]

16 Apr 19
The Art Of Chart

Jon Robin Baitz First Major Writer To Rebuff WGA Demand He Fire His Agents – Deadline By Jon Robin Baitz First Major Writer To Rebuff WGA Demand He Fire His Agents  Deadline Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety WGA Disciplinary Trials Could Await Writers Who Don’t […]

16 Apr 19
IPO EMPIRE

Jon Robin Baitz First Major Writer To Rebuff WGA Demand He Fire His Agents  Deadline Hollywood writers fire agents over financial disputes  Fox Business DGA Won’t Tell Writer-Directors to Fire Their Agents  Variety WGA Disciplinary Trials Could Await Writers Who Don’t Notify Guild They’ve Fired Their Agents; Guild Responds – Update  Deadline #WGAStaffingBoost creator LaToya Morgan talks the importance […]

15 Apr 19
Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: All day we’ve been hearing of the misgivings numerous writers are having over the recent brass knuckle negotiations on packaging and affiliated production companies that led the WGA to demand that its members fire their agents. Some writers with close ties to their longtime reps want everyone WGA and ATA back at the bargaining […]