Episode 960: The Writers Revolt : Planet Money In April, 7,000 TV writers across the U.S. fired their agents. All on the same day. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
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Episode 960: The Writers Revolt

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Episode 960: The Writers Revolt

Episode 960: The Writers Revolt

Episode 960: The Writers Revolt

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/790310228/790312703" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
CENTURY CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Picketers march during a strike held by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) outside Fox Studios on November 9, 2007 in Century City, California. Over 12,000 members of the WGA are on strike against producers and studios demanding for a greater share of new media revenue. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

In Hollywood, "packaging" has been a longstanding industry practice: An agency assembles a group of clients--such as a writer, an actor, and a director--and pitches them all together to a studio or network. Then, instead of collecting a commission from its individual clients, the agency gets a fee from the studio once the project is sold and airs.

David Simon, creator of The Wire, and thousands of other screenwriters with the Writers Guild of America, say that's killed any incentive for their agents to negotiate on their behalf, and think that the agents are grabbing more than their fair share of the profits. So, in April 2019, 7,000 writers all over the U.S. fired all of their agents, all on the same day.

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