Directors Guild announces contract renewal talks with producers association

Hollywood sign WGA writers strike negotiations
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Hollywood is facing the threat of strike action at the moment – and an attempt is being made on front at least to get things sorted.

There’s been a bit of chatter lately regarding the chances of Hollywood going into shutdown on May 1st when the AMPTP’s (American Motion Picture and Television Producers) current deal with the Writers Guild of America runs out. The WGA has put together a formidable list of demands for negotiation that include improved residual payments for films and TV when they hit streaming platforms, along with regulation of artificial intelligence in the screen writing process.

If talks go well, a strike may yet be averted but news emerging today has strengthened the WGA’s hand a little.

As previously indicated, the Directors Guild of America has confirmed that it will not enter into negotiations with the AMPTP before the writers’ union does. This is pretty key as in the past, the DGA has often entered negotiations with the AMPTP before the WGA, even though the WGA’s deal actually expires first. It’s a lot of capital letters in that sentence, and hope everyone is following the plot.

By agreeing terms with the AMPTP before the writers guild has even arrived at the negotiating table, the DGA has often been accused of siding with the producers and undercutting the collective bargaining power of writers, filmmakers, actors and other creative personnel. This has been the case in the last three bargaining cycles. It’s also worth mentioning the last time this happened and the DGA didn’t sign a deal ahead of the WGA was 2007, the same year we last saw a strike in Hollywood. That shutdown lasted for a hundred days and cost the Los Angeles economy an estimated $1.5bn.

The WGA’s negotiations with the AMPTP begin on March 20th and will continue throughout April. The talks will happen behind closed doors but if news of a deal doesn’t emerge by late April then talk of a Hollywood strike will surely intensify. We’ll bring you more on this one as we hear it.


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