Directors Guild Board Unanimously Approves Tentative New Contract With Studios

The proposed new agreement with AMPTP will now go to DGA members for a ratification vote

Directors Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers

On Tuesday night, the national governing board for the Directors Guild of America unanimously approved a tentative new deal with studios. The matter will now go to a vote of rank and file members.

“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,” DGA president Leslie Linka Glatter said in a statement.

“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.”

On Sunday, negotiators for DGA and for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached agreement after just under a month of talks. According to the guild, the deal includes a higher annual percentage increase in minimum rates than what the AMPTP offered to the WGA.

Other benefits the board is touting include raises in wages and benefits, an increase in global residuals, an agreement — pertaining only to DGA — that so-called “AI” cannot be used to replace humans and establishing for the first time residuals for variety and reality directors. Read more about it here.

The DGA board’s vote comes hours before the start of negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP. Like DGA, the actors guild’s current contract expires on June 30. But SAG-AFTRA members have shown far more willingness to dig in to a fight with AMPTP than that signaled by DGA leaders.

On Monday, SAG-AFTRA members approved a strike authorization by an overwhelming 97.91%. This means that SAG-AFTRA’s leadership, led by president Fran Drescher and national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, have approval from its members to order a strike if June 30 comes and goes without a new contract in place, should guild leaders decide AMPTP isn’t dealing.

That’s what happened May 2, when talks between AMPTP and the Writers Guild of America broke down and the ongoing writers’ strike began. That strike is now in its second month and showing no signs of abating, as AMPTP refused to budge on several key issues, including issues it struck deals over with DGA.

The Writers Guild says that the DGA deal won’t affect how it proceeds, saying in a statement that “the era of divide and conquer is over.”