The guild has 15,000 members, so the action could have drastic consequences. This massive dismissal of agents has never happened before, so no one really knows what will happen or how long it will last.
Both parties held controversial negotiations until Friday, when scriptwriters set a deadline for talent agencies to accept his new "code of conduct."
A few hours before the deadline, the guild informed its members that the talks had failed. It was time to cut the links with the agents.
The Association of Talented Agents said Friday night that the Writers Guild wanted a "chaos" that "will hurt all artists".
But the guild said the agents did not take enough into account "our concerns" about packing fees and other issues.
Here's how the writers' guild frames the problems: "Our agents work for us – every dollar they earn must be generated as a percentage of the money we earn." That's what it means to be our representatives and our trustees Agency-based studios and packaging costs make fun of this and violate the agencies' ethical and legal obligations to writers. "
Packaging costs are lucrative payments that agencies receive for bringing together several customers – for example a writer, a director and an actor – as a "package" for a television studio.
The Writers 'Guild says it wants to "realign agencies' incentives so that they are compatible with the interests of writing clients rather than competing with them." Thus, the new "code of conduct". One of the slogans of the guild is "customers about the conflicts".
Hollywood personalities such as Damon Lindelof Hart Hanson and David Simon have posted their agent termination letters on social media.
The four major talent agencies in the United States are WME, CAA, UTA and ICM. They, and other smaller agencies, are represented by the Association of Talent Agents.
Karen Stuart, the executive director of the association, said in a statement that the "code of conduct" was going to "harm all artists, particularly painful to mid-level and emerging writers, while dictating the operation of agencies of all sizes ".
Stuart said "we came to the bargaining table in good faith and submitted detailed proposals", but the guild "refused to negotiate further".
"We are ready to continue fighting for the best interests of writers and all artists," she added.
There is no indication that new discussions are currently planned.