Before I post this, I do have to note that I personally know some smaller - scale (not CAA, or similar) agents and agencies that take their duty to the people they represent seriously. Also, unlike music and movies, some industries still are enmeshed in this ages old system such that, without a representative, the opportunities are effectively nil. Even in such circumstances, be aware that the temptation to double deal when the money gets significant can be overwhelming for even better people, and that the closer you get to the bigger influencers in Hollywood, the less you can trust what is said.
Brian Neimeier points out he is absolutely not kidding when he says "fire your agent" in the book world. I've pointed out before that the only way publishers will survive is if they actually add value, and not just for their few top cash cows, by providing a one-stop shop to get solid editing, proofreading, and art. Maybe some marketing. Agents in the book world have long been nearly useless as both they and publishers have foresaken their "value added" and pushed off marketing, promotion, etc., back off onto their lower tier authors.
The example he uses is when David Simon, early in his entertainment career, was screwed over by his agency, CAA. yes, that CAA that took on Jordan Peterson but left Owen Benjamin out in the cold when he became too hot a property, and yet has sordid relationships with some of the true scum and villainy in Hollywood.
“Matt — absent any evidence of informed consent by me — that you and CAA proceeded to negotiate with Barry Levinson, whom you also represented, is a prima facie conflict-of-interest and a breach of fiduciary duty. If you were a realtor secretly representing both sides of a house sale, your license would be torn up. If you were a lawyer, you’d be disbarred.”
There was only a small pause before he explained himself:
“But I’m not a lawyer. I’m an agent.”
Yes you are. Yes you fucking are.
Further down in the parent article, a part Brian didn't quote:
Perhaps the ugliest tell in the current negotiations between the WGA and the agencies is the incredible, self-oblivious claim by the ATA that writers are naive to think that any of the vast packaging fees, if denied to talent agencies by studios, would ever find their way into the pockets of the writers themselves. No, they insist, the studios will just pocket that money and writers themselves will be no better off.
You grifting, soulless fuckbonnets. You are so divorced from your fundamental ethos that you have actually just made this argument: You as agents are capable of achieving millions in benefits FOR YOURSELVES; you can leverage these profits FOR YOURSELVES if you are permitted to do so. However, you are claiming in the next lying, mendacious breath that you couldn’t possible achieve any such outcome if you had to do it merely on behalf of YOUR CLIENTS.