Download the 2021 Annual Report

June 29, 2021

Dear Fellow Members:

We are presenting the Guild’s annual financial report at the end of an extraordinary year. COVID-19 shut down much of our industry; writers and Guild staff learned to work remotely; and in spite of these obstacles, the Guild renegotiated the MBA and concluded its successful talent agency campaign.

The effect of the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is still being felt. Next year’s report will give us a more complete picture of the full impact of the pandemic on member employment and the Guild’s finances. For now, however, members should feel confident that the Guild remains on a strong financial footing with significant reserves that will enable us to face the current uncertainties.

In this booklet, you will find the WGAW’s financial statements and a summary of employment and residuals data for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2021. These are some highlights:

  • The effect of the pandemic was reflected in a decline in member dues to $31.4M, lower than FY 2020’s total of $36M. This decline was offset by unrealized investment gains resulting from the continuing strong equity market, which produced an overall increase in income (including unrealized gains) to $46.1 million, up from $38.5 million in the last fiscal year.
  • Dues revenue reflects employment. Early in the pandemic, writer employment remained steady. More recently, we have seen a measurable decline in employment as the industry produces scripts previously written. The full dimension of this employment trend will be visible over the course of the coming year.
  • Annual expenditures of $36.2 million were lower than FY 2020’s total of $38.2 million. The decrease was the result of a number of factors: reduced operating costs attributable to remote work, the curtailment of most in-person member functions, including at the Guild Theater; and the production of a virtual WGA Awards ceremony.
  • The Guild ended the fiscal year with total net assets of over $87.7 million. The Guild owns its headquarters located at the corner of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, where a multi-year renovation project was completed with upgrades to the main entrance and streetscape.
  • The supplemental schedule on page 17 reflects that the Guild’s Foreign Levies Program distributed $29.1 million to writers and heirs during the last fiscal year. This is the highest annual disbursement in the program’s 30-year history, bringing the total amount distributed to writers over the life of the program to $275M.

We publish this financial information each year in the interest of transparency and a fully informed membership. The Membership and Finance Committee is a constitutional body, made up of five members appointed by the Board of Directors. The Committee oversees the annual audit conducted by the independent accounting firm of Miller Kaplan Arase LLP, whose report is contained in this booklet.

Sincerely,

The Membership and Finance Committee

Michele Mulroney (chair), Patti Carr, Tony DeSena, Carleton Eastlake and Adele Lim


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