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Hollywood directors stave off strike after contract deal with studios


Hollywood studios have signed a tentative contract deal with the directors’ union, allaying fears of a shutdown as the industry grapples with a writers’ strike and prepares for labor negotiations with film actors.

The Directors Guild of America said it reached an early agreement with Hollywood studios on some of the most contentious issues facing the industry, including streaming royalties and protecting jobs from advances in artificial intelligence.

“We’ve struck a truly historic deal,” said Jon Avnet, chairman of the DGA’s negotiating committee.

The deal saw a “substantial increase” in royalties for dramatic programming on streaming services, the 19,000-member DGA said. The gain represented a 76 percent increase in foreign residuals for the largest streamers, translating into a profit of $90,000 for one-hour episodes over three years. Those royalties are determined based on the number of international subscribers to the streaming service.

The two sides also agreed that “generative AI cannot replace driver duties,” according to the DGA. The union will vote on the contract proposal on Tuesday.

The move comes as the 11,500-member Writers Guild of America strike enters its second month after failing to reach a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, a group representing Hollywood studios and streamers.

Like the directors, some of the writers’ biggest concerns revolve around streaming royalties and the use of AI. The actors’ union SAG-AFTRA will talk to the studios later this week, with AI also expected to be a point of discussion.

In recent weeks, studio executives have expressed hope that the directors can reach a deal that could then serve as a model for agreements with the writers and actors. The writers’ union has not scheduled any talks with the studios.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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