The Writers Guild Of America (WGA), SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, and the Teamsters have issued a statement in solidarity with the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in the final week of the group’s contract talks.
The unions said they stood “alongside our sisters, brothers, and kin in the DGA in their pursuit of a fair contract”, referring to the latter’s ongoing contracts talks with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
“We believe in a Hollywood where every worker is valued and their contributions recognized, whether their labor is on or off screen,” read the statement. “A fair contract for directors does not benefit just a select few; it uplifts every worker in the film and television industry and acknowledges the interconnected nature of our work. We call on the AMPTP to immediately negotiate a fair agreement that addresses the Directors Guild of America’s unique priorities in good faith.
“As eyes around the world again turn towards the negotiation table, we send a clear message to the AMPTP: Our solidarity is not to be underestimated. The Hollywood guilds and unions stand united, and we stand strong.”
DGA negotiators and their AMPTP counterparts started contract renewal talks on May 20 and have operated under a media blackout. SAG-AFTRA will commence its contract renewal talks with AMPTP on June 7 and like the DGA, its agreement expires on June 30.
Meanwhile the WGA strike that started on May 2 after the Guild and AMPTP negotiators failed to reach a resolution has entered its fifth week.
Many Hollywood sources including executives, producers and agents believe the strike could run into September, by which time studios, streamers and networks will have been able to activate force majeure clauses to terminate their least productive overall deals with writers.
The calculation is that the cost-saving measure by the Hollywood companies, which have been undergoing belt-tightening and laying off thousands of staff – while continuing to compensate their senior executives handsomely – may make them more amenable to meeting the WGA’s compensation demands.
The strike has shut down most scripted US TV production and is bleeding into the feature production schedule, with a number of films already postponed.