DGA video preps members for “battle”

(CREDIT: Shutterstock)

While The Writers Guild of America East and West enter the second week of their labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, another battle is brewing in Hollywood as the Directors Guild of America (DGA), representing more than 19,000 members, prepares to begin contract negotiations tomorrow.

Tuesday, DGA chairs for the negotiating committee Jon Avnet, Karen Gaviola and Todd Holland released a short video that offered support for striking writers while outlining what they are seeking for guild members.

“We know there will be conflict. The battle will test us.  But we won’t rest until we win a strong contract today that builds a bridge to continued DGA prosperity into the future,” Holland noted.

You can watch the video here.

The chairs offered that they realize the negotiating window with AMPTP is shorter than the WGA. The DGA has about a month to make a deal with the producers. SAG-AFTRA is looming on June 7, creating a potential perfect storm of labor disputes.

Holland warned that talks with AMPTP are expected to be more contentious. Listed among the major issues are studio contributions to the guild’s health and pension plans, increases in global streaming residuals, and creative rights protections.


Other priorities include:

  • Securing wage increases that address inflation
  • Maintaining the strength and sustainability of our world-class pension and healthcare plans
  • Negotiating meaningful increases and structural changes to streaming residual formulas that account for the global growth of the audience
  • Protecting the role and vision of Directors
  • Protecting our jurisdiction over projects produced abroad for U.S. audiences
  • Improving safety on the set by expanding and encouraging training and addressing long workdays
  • Increasing diversity, equity and inclusion and strengthening the voices of under-represented people
  • Looking out for the full directorial team — the Assistant Directors, UPMs, Associate Directors and Stage Managers — who sustain every production with their hard work and professionalism

The video concludes with the chairs acknowledging members will hear less from them as talks begin.

With the collective strength and unity of the full DGA membership, we are committed to winning a strong contract that sets a new path forward for our industry.

DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter posted an op-ed in Variety recognizing the fight that is at the DGA’s doorstep.

“As a longtime working director, I know how big the stakes are in this fight. Many directors and members of our teams don’t know when the next project will come around, and they rely on fair, regular residuals to sustain them in between. As we all know, current wages simply aren’t keeping up with the skyrocketing cost of living,” she penned.

She added, “To be sure, the coming weeks won’t be easy. There’s no disputing that our industry faces an uncertain economic climate. But the issues we’re bringing to the table are essential, and the studios must be prepared to invest more in us, in directors and directorial teams, and in all our collaborative partners. In this team sport of ours, we are only as good as our teams.”

Both the DGA and SAG-AFTRA’s contracts end on June 30.

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