Monday, May 27, 2024

Directors Guild Settlement in Jeopardy? Many Union Members Including “Seinfeld” Director Saying They’re Voting No on Deal with Studios


Will the the Directors Guild deal with the movie studios go through this weekend?

Many members of the DGA are saying on Twitter they are voting no, in solidarity with the striking Writers Guild. They also want to see what kind of deal SAG-AFTRA will make, or if they will strike. SAG-AFTRA members voted to approve a strike a few days ago. Their deal is up on June 30th.

One of the dissenters, who even made a video, is Larry Charles, famed director of “Seinfeld,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Borat.” Another is Duncan Jones, son of late singer David Bowie, who directed “Moon” with Sam Rockwell and ‘Mute” with Alexander Skarsgard.

Jones wrote on Twitter: “I’d vote to NOT accept the DGA deal struck, and request that our guild’s acceptance of what was negotiated is conditional on the WGA and SAG deals are worked out first as well.”

Jones isn’t alone. There are threads all over Twitter from DGA members recommending a no vote. TV writer and producer Liz Benjamin notes: “Wow reading a lot of posts and talking to #DGA friends — seems possible the membership will reject the deal. Wouldn’t that be an interesting wrench for the #AMPTP?”

Steven DeKnight, with a long resume of directing, Tweeted: “I just voted NO on the 2023-2026 DGA Basic Agreement and Freelance Live & Tape Television Agreement Ratification ballot. I strongly urge all DGA members to do the same. This isn’t the time to accept table scraps and call them historic. Stand together. Stand Union Strong.”

Joe Russo (not Avengers, plenty of credits) says: “I don’t mean to be hyperbolic when I say the DGA negotiating committee seems to have given away the future of the entertainment industry when it comes to Artificial Intelligence and streaming transparency in exchange for clawing back a few creative TV rights from showrunners.”

Of course, there are always dissenters. The DGA technically approved the deal on June 7th pending ratification. But the responses, insiders say, indicate a lot of unhappiness, especially about the now dreaded and ubiquitous “AI.”

Stay tuned…any thoughts please email me at

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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