UPDATE: A Hollywood directors strike has been averted after Directors Guild of America (DGA) membership ratified the new collective bargaining agreement with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on Friday night (June 23) with an 87% vote in favour.
The deal, which concludes negotiations that ran from May 10 to June 3, approves a new contract that will last from July 1 of this year through June 30, 2026.
Meanwhile on Saturday SAG-AFTRA leadership posted a video saying ongoing talks with AMPTP were “extremely productive” and Guild president Fran Dreschler and national executive director and head negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland indicated they expected to sign a “seminal” deal.
Hollywood has been on tenterhooks over the prospect of an actors strike. SAG-AFTRA contracts expire on June 30 and should members go on strike – they have already voted overwhelmingly for strike authorisation – it would effectively close down Hollywood production and any US production in the world involving SAG-AFTRA members.
The writers are in the eighth week of their strike. Multiple feature projects have been put on pause, scripted TV production in Hollywood appears to be grinding to a halt, and it emerged this week that several major Hollywood studios will not be presenting at Comic-Con in San Diego next month.
The DGA said on its website the new agreement brings “significant improvements for DGA members in all categories” with “extensive advances on wages, global streaming residuals, safety, diversity and creative rights”.
It also introduces new minimum terms and conditions covering non-dramatic programmes made for streaming and high-budget dramatic programms made for AVoD, and new provisions establishing that generative AI cannot replace the duties performed by members.
The Guild said 6,728 members voted out of 16,321 eligible voters, adding that the 41% turnout exceeded any prior DGA ratification vote.
DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter thanked her negotiating committee heads – chair Jon Avnet, co-chairs Karen Gaviola and Todd Holland, and national executive director Russell Hollander – and said: “I’m proud to report that DGA members have joined together to ratify a new contract that will allow every director, assistant director, unit production manager, associate director and stage manager to share in the success of what we create.”
She added, “I also want to acknowledge that the DGA didn’t bargain in a vacuum. We stand united with writers, actors and all crew members in our shared fight to move our industry forward.
“We support the actors who are in negotiations and the writers who remain on strike, and we will stand with the IA and Teamsters when they negotiate their agreement next year. We won’t be satisfied until we all have fair contracts that reward us for our creative work — we must create a vibrant, sustainable industry that fairly values us all.”