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DGA Joins WGA in Emmys Protest

“Unless the Academy reconsiders the change, the Guild … is not bound by its commitments to the Academy.”

The Directors Guild is joining the opposition to Emmy’s time-squeeze plans.


In a letter to TV Academy CEO John Shaffner delivered today, DGA associate national director Warren Adler says the Guild has decided that the planned changes to next month’s telecast are "a material breach of our agreement" that holds that directing awards be telecast "live" and "in parity with the actors’ awards."


"As a result, unless the Academy reconsiders the proposed change in presentation of directing awards, the Guild considers that it no longer is bound by its commitments to the Academy under that agreement," Adler wrote.


While Adler doesn’t explicitly say so, he’s almost certainly referring to the DGA deal cutting the TV Academy a break on rights fees for clips.


Adler expresses disappointment that "the Television Academy has unilaterally initiated steps to diminish" the recognition of directors. He notes that the DGA and the TV Academy have worked together "to find mutually acceptable solutions to the Academy’s concerns" in the past.


But, in this case, the Academy "did not consult with the Guild’s Directors Council."


Adler also takes issue with comments made by Shaffner yesterday at the TV Critics Assn. and reported by TheWrap.


"You are quoted as saying that, ‘the directors are OK with (these changes)," Adler said. "In light of my email to Dixon Dern dated July 31, of which you were sent a copy, saying that, ‘The DGA is analyzing the Academy’s approach to these Awards in light of our agreements and will advise you as to our position following the conclusion of our review,’ either you were misquoted in the interview, or you were intentionally disregarding the interests of the Directors Guild as the insitution representing (among others) directors in the television industry."


The DGA offensive comes in the wake of a similar statement last week from the Writers Guild and a letter from dozens of major TV showrunners opposing the planned changes.


Emmy executive producer Don Mischer defended the changes Monday as crucial to the show’s survival.