Directors Guild Votes To Ratify Deal With Studios And Streamers, Avoiding Strike

Before the DGA reached a tentative deal with the AMPTP earlier this month, there was talk of a possible situation in which three unions, including the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), might go on strike against studios at the same time. Speaking on behalf of the DGA, Lesli Linka Glatter acknowledged that the guild “didn’t bargain in a vacuum,” saying:

“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.”

As writer-directors, many DGA members are, of course, “hyphenates” who double as WGA members, and not all of them are happy about the agreement. In another lengthy Twitter thread last week, Lilly Wachowski, co-writer and co-director of “The Matrix,” wrote that the specific legal wording of the agreement “has a stink of deviousness” to it. According to IndieWire, the deal stipulates that studios “may not use [generative AI] in connection with creative elements without consultation with the Director or other DGA-covered employees.”

All this means is that the studios have to consult directors before using generative AI. It doesn’t mean the director has to sign off on it. So, in the same way that not all directors have final cut on their films, a studio could theoretically “consult” them in a perfunctory fashion, but then push forward on the use of AI without their approval. Some have also highlighted the potential for AI to act as mere “plagiarism software.”

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