The Directors Guild of America is on the brink of an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which puts the pressure on striking TV and movie writers and the studios to settle their spat. DGA leaders are entering the sixth day of negotiations today to replace a contract that expires June 30. The writers’ strike is in its 11th week.
Unable to secure its own new deal since starting on again-off again contract talks with the studios July 16, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) initially might demur that what’s good for directors isn’t necessarily good for scribes.
Yet if the DGA, as expected, comes away with contract terms featuring significant gains in the all-important area of new-media compensation, WGA brass could face some rather immediate — and potentially very public — grumbling from powerful TV writer/producers if it insists on staying on strike.
Meanwhile, studio negotiators must grapple with their own knotty dilemma in deciding when, and how, to resume negotiations with the WGA. As one management-side source put it, "The tough question is how do you reward the DGA for good behavior and not the WGA for bad behavior?"