As the Writers Guild enters its second calendar month of a strike, a key alliance in its fight for increased residuals, wages and AI protections has struck a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
In a tentative deal that is poised to be submitted for approval Tuesday to its National Board, the Directors Guild of America spent all day Saturday at the table and reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP just before midnight Sunday. The three-year agreement sees the 19,000-member guild receive pay and benefits gains, increases in global streaming residuals and protections against the use of artificial intelligence, which sources say was the last sticking point to a deal that came after less than a month of negotiations with the AMPTP. The DGA’s current contract, along with that of SAG-AFTRA, expires June 30. The actors branch currently has members voting to authorize a strike, should its negotiating committee call for one.
As one of its key talking points, the Writers Guild of America has stressed unity with other guilds in its ongoing strike against the AMPTP over such issues as streaming transparency, wage increases and AI safeguards. While the DGA was wildly expected to close a deal with the AMPTP and avoid a strike of its own, the tentative deal — dubbed “historic” by its leadership — has not gone over well with members of the Writers Guild.
“Thrilled that the DGA was able to use the power of the WGA’s labor action to secure a deal that works for them,” writer Amy Berg (Jack Ryan, Warrior Nun) wrote earlySunday. “We proposed a number of these terms … before the AMPTP cut off negotiations in order to hand a deal to the DGA. They will continue to not speak to us, offering them next to SAG. But we have needs in areas they don’t, and will secure a deal that works for us. This isn’t it. Also keep in mind that SAG is due to announce the results of their strike authorization vote and getting this done quickly is an attempt to undermine its impact. Between that and the strike, the DGA was situated well to get something that works for them. For them, not us.”
Historically, a DGA deal would be used as a template for the studios and streamers to apply to other guilds. That, however, is not expected to happen during the WGA’s negotiations considering a number of its proposals impact only writers and not actors or directors. While the WGA had been seeking AI protections as well, issues specific to writers include protections against “span” and the use of “mini-rooms,” among others.
“Since there isn’t a ton of overlap with us I don’t see this having a huge impact on the current WGA strike but only time will tell,” writer Phillip Iscove (Station 19, Sleepy Hollow) posted.