Writers picket in front of Netflix on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California, May 2, 2023, as the Writers Guild of America goes on strike.
Frederick J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
Hollywood producers have struck tentative agreements with film and television directors, but that doesn’t mean they should expect a sudden resolution to the writers’ strike or talks with the actors’ union.
On Sunday, the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced that the union, which has 19,000 members, will be offered pay and benefits increases, an increase in global streaming balances, and protection against the use of the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance for three years. tentatively agreed to the contract. artificial intelligence.
The DGA contract is due to expire on June 30th. The guild plans to submit proposals to members on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Writers Guild of America is in its second month of strike. Similarly, the Screen Actors Guild and the Federation of Television and Radio Artists of America are on the verge of authorizing a strike if negotiations falter. Those talks will begin Wednesday.
The WGA has been on strike since May 2, halting dozens of TV and film productions as negotiations with producers stalled.
already Netflix The start of production on the fifth and final season of Stranger Things has been postponed. Warner Bros. ‘Discoveries ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel ‘Knights of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight’ has closed the writer’s room, disney And Marvel’s “Thunderbolts” and “Blade” have paused production.
During the last writers’ strike, which lasted 100 days in 2007 and 2008, studio deals with DGA prompted writers to return to the negotiating table. However, this time may not be the case.
“We congratulate the DGA negotiating committee on winning an agreement that has submitted a proposal to the National Council for approval, and which will probably then be sent to our members for ratification,” said the WGA. The negotiating committee said in a memo to members on Sunday.
The commission said it would not comment on the terms of the DGA’s new contract, noting that its negotiating position would remain unchanged.
“We sent an email last week about how AMPTP’s divide-and-conquer strategy won’t work this time,” the memo read. “AMPTP cannot negotiate author contracts with anyone other than us.”
The commission also said it stands in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA, which will complete the strike approval vote on Monday.
A representative for SAG-AFTRA did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The WGA memo reflects comments made by WGA negotiator Chris Kaiser on Friday. Provided a public update one month after the strike Via YouTube.
“Any deal that brings this town back into action applies directly to the WGA and there is no way around it,” he said.
Kaiser also said the WGA strike was already “very effective in inflicting pain on corporations,” and the guild’s determination that work suspensions and public picketing would win “the deal we deserve.” pointed out that it shows
In the DGA agreement, the directors secured pay raises from 5% in the first year, increased retention due to streaming, and assurances that artificial intelligence could not replace members’ duties.
AI is a major concern for both the Writers and Actors Guilds, who see their work as particularly vulnerable to this new technology.
Both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are seeking protections against AI use in their negotiations, in addition to increased compensation for streaming content. The WGA also calls for a minimum staffing level for TV writers’ rooms and a minimum payout for more competitive jobs.
WGA is less concerned about being replaced by AI systems and more concerned about production companies misusing these technological tools to cut writers’ salaries.
The SAG-AFTRA acknowledges that AI technology may benefit the industry, but the use of AI to replicate actors or create new performances is subject to the actors’ consent and payment. We want to ensure that it is done in The Guild has similar guardrails when it comes to computer-generated image capture.
Already, some performers, such as James Earl Jones, have agreed to clone their voices for use after their death. The 91-year-old Jones, best known for voicing Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise, was considering stepping down from the role. Jones was paid compensation and the technology was used to bring Vader’s iconic voice to Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The Actors Guild is also outspoken in its assertion that negotiations are in the interest of all members, not just the big stars. For tens of thousands of active actors, health insurance, compensation and residue are top priorities.
Voting on SAG-AFTRA strike authorization ends Monday at 8:00 pm ET.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is a member of the Alliance of Film and Television Producers.