The gild has 15,000 members, so the action could have sweeping effects.
The two sides had been holding controversial negotiations until Friday, when writers set deadlines for talent. agencies to accept its new "code of conduct."
A few hours before the deadline, the guild told its members that the talks had failed, so it was time to cut ties with the agents.
The Association of Talent Agents said Friday night that the writers guild wants "chaos" that "will hurt all artists."
But the guild said the agents have not adequately addressed "our expressed concerns" about packing fees and other issues.
Here's how the writers guild frames the issues: "Our agents work for us. Every dollar they make must be generated as a percentage of the money we make. That is what it means to be our representatives and our fiduciaries. Agency-based studios and packaging fees make a mockery of that and are in violation of the ethical and legal obligations of the agencies to the writers. "
Packaging fees are profitable payments that agencies receive for putting together multiple clients – say, a writer The National Enquirer is for sale ” class=”media__image” src=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190410184502-national-enquirer-file-large-169.jpg”/>