DGA National Board Unanimously Approves Tentative Contract Agreement with AMPTP

The Directors Guild of America’s national board of directors has unanimously approved the tentative agreement reached by the guild’s negotiating committee late Saturday, a deal that aims to set parameters around the use of artificial intelligence and boost streaming residual rates.

With the board’s approval, the contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will be sent to a ratification vote by DGA membership. The guild expects to send materials to its members this week.

“We set out to negotiate a contract that would build for the future. This is a significant deal with gains for every Director, Assistant Director, Unit Production Manager, Associate Director and Stage Manager,” said DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter. “Our industry is rapidly changing and expanding, and this agreement is what we need to adapt to those changes, break new ground and protect the DGA’s 19,000 directors and directorial team members today, and in the years to come. Along with the rest of the DGA National Board, I am proud to enthusiastically recommend this tentative agreement to our members for ratification. Together, we will secure the future we deserve.”

The DGA’s progress on a new three-year master contract with Hollywood’s major studios and platforms comes against the backdrop of the Writers Guild of America strike, now in its second month. SAG-AFTRA, meanwhile, begins its negotiations with the AMPTP on June 7. Like the DGA, SAG-AFTRA’s current contract expires June 30. SAG-AFTRA members have been vocal in their support of the WGA’s work stoppage and many actors on picket lines have echoed concerns about the use of AI and compensation challenges in a fast-changing era of television. SAG-AFTRA is seen as closer than it has been in years to calling a strike against the largest Hollywood employers, given the level of unease among working actors.

Among the other gains achieved by the directors are an additional day of shooting for episodic drama series and expanded rights in the editing and post-production of TV. The DGA also hailed the contract provisions “confirming that generative AI cannot replace the duties performed by members.”

The DGA in its statement emphasized its support for its fellow creative unions.

“Across the country, Directors and their teams, writers, actors, crews and drivers have shown unwavering resolve in demanding to share in the success of the films and television shows we create together,” Glatter said. “We are all union members and deserve to be compensated fairly for our contributions. We don’t bargain in a vacuum and the gains we have achieved in our tentative agreement would not have been possible without the strong support and unity of our members, and the solidarity of our sister Guilds and Unions. We continue to support the actors who are entering negotiations tomorrow and the writers who remain on strike. We stand firmly with SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in our shared fight for a vibrant, sustainable industry that fairly values us all.”

The DGA talks were led by negotiations committee chair Jon Avnet, co-chairs Karen Gaviola and Todd Holland and DGA national executive director Russell Hollander. Thomas Schlamme and Nicole Kassell led the negotiations to expand directors’ creative rights in television.

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