The Directors Guild of America today clinched a much-anticipated deal with the major studios that will put increased pressure on writers to follow suit and end a 12-week-old strike that has roiled Hollywood.
In a new three-year contract, directors negotiated a better deal than what studios had initially offered writers, including higher royalties for online sales of their movies and TV shows.
Disputes over how writers should be paid when their shows are distributed over the Internet, cellphones and other new media have been the central sticking point in failed negotiations between studios and writers.
With the directors' deal complete, pressure now shifts to the leaders of the Writers Guild of America to use that agreement as a basis for concluding their own deal, which would bring to a close the industry’s costliest strike in two decades.
The walkout shut down the television industry and upended the awards season. In Hollywood, contracts are often determined through “pattern bargaining,” where the first union to negotiate a deal sets the template for the other unions.
-- Richard Verrier and Claudia Eller