Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and representatives of a class of television writers today announced the settlement of a case alleging age discrimination in the representation of television writers.
The case was the last of 23 separate class actions that were filed a decade ago by the writers against the major television networks, production studios, and talent agencies. The other 22 cases settled over the past six years for a combined amount of $74.5 million. The announcement of today’s news – wherein CAA has agreed to make a $150,000 donation and provide limited consulting services to a non-profit entity that assists older television writers – was made jointly by CAA and counsel for the 115 named plaintiffs and the settlement class. The settlement is subject to final approval by the California Superior Court in and for the County of Los Angeles.
CAA strongly denies the writers’ allegations and states that its representation practices fully comply with the law and reflect its commitment to equal opportunity. CAA also notes that it has a long-standing practice against discrimination and that it represents substantial numbers of writers who are 40 years of age or older.
CAA’s counsel Anthony J. Oncidi of Proskauer stated, “The trial already had begun. We are confident that CAA would not have been found liable once we had finished presenting the evidence and completed the trial.”
In addition to CAA’s donation to a non-profit entity known as the Fund for the Future, CAA will offer the Fund for the Future up to 60 hours of consulting services relating to production and distribution of online content over the next three years. CAA will pay nothing to the plaintiffs, settlement class members, or their attorneys.