ICM Partners has filed a motion to dismiss an anti-packaging lawsuit brought by the Writers Guild of America, calling the guild’s claims “absurd,” Deadline reports.
“The WGA and writers Patricia Carr and Chip Johannessen sued the agency in April for breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud,” Deadline reports. “ICM’s demurrer, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, is similar to the answer filed by CAA early this month. WME and UTA, who also were sued by the guild, are expected to file their motions for dismissal early next week.”
The report quotes the ICM document saying: “In a remarkable and naked attempt at a power grab, plaintiffs — a top-heavy writers’ union and some of the most influential and wealthiest writers and TV producers in Hollywood — seek to eliminate the industry-wide practice of packaging. Yet, this very same union, and these same writer-producers, expressly consented to and benefitted from packaging for nearly five decades.”
The report notes that as the battle between the WGA and Hollywood’s talent agencies over packaging fees has dragged on — for more than three months now — the guild has argued that the fees amount to “illegal kickbacks” to the agencies from the studios.
“ICM said in its demurrer that the WGA’s claim that packaging fees violate a federal criminal law that prohibits bribing union officials ‘is absurd on its face. Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act has never been applied outside the union context in its 72-year history and has no application here,'” Deadline reports.