Los Angeles Times

Members of Writers Guild of America consider firing their agents en masse

As an experienced TV writer, Evan Wright was passionate about his idea for a dramatic miniseries based on the founding of motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson. He pitched and sold the three-part "Harley and the Davidsons," which premiered on the Discovery Channel in 2016.

But it was only much later that the L.A.-based writer learned that show had been packaged - his agency had assembled talent for "Harley" from its own client roster, and received fees from the studio for the package in lieu of traditional commissions. "I was kept in the dark," recalled Wright, who was also an executive producer. "I thought my agent was helping me. I didn't know there was this secret business."

Wright's experience reflects the mounting frustrations screenwriters have with the talent agencies that represent them. These concerns center on the long-standing practice of packaging fees and the newer trend of major talent agencies, including Endeavor, CAA and UTA, moving into the TV and film production businesses.

Writers say both tactics present conflicts of interest

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