Could a DGA Deal This Week End the Writers' Strike?

Photo: Photo illustration: AP

Strike-related blogs have been buzzing all week with rumors that the Directors Guild — which just began contract negotiations with the AMPTP — may quickly make a deal. Now Variety confirms … well, confirms the existence of the rumors, at least, predicting that the deal will come by the end of the week.

Why does this matter? Because at issue for the DGA are many of the same points of contention the WGA is struggling with, including residual payments for Internet work. If the DGA can quickly come to an agreement — one that isn't too repugnant to the WGA's rank and file — many observers hope that the WGA will accept similar terms, everyone can save face, and we can all enjoy a world where Lost doesn't end after eight episodes.

It may not be that easy, though. At the L.A. Times, former WGA counsel Jonathan Handel cautions that the DGA is likely to accept terms that the WGA would not and predicts an "all-out civil war" should that happen. Variety seems to predict a split in the guild, claiming that "weary" writers fear WGA president Patric Verrone might reject a DGA deal out of hand. And the studios are putting on the pressure, cutting scores of writing and production deals and laying off employees.

Luckily, the Observer is here to remind us who the real victims of the strike are: entertainment journalists. “It would be nice for the strike to end soon,” an unnamed editor at Entertainment Weekly says, presumably through tears. And EW managing editor Rick Tetzeli offers a horrifying vision of the future of his magazine: “The cover we’re closing tonight is a strike survival guide, with Conan on the cover. It’s the short opening, and it’s very, very funny. We’ve got about 35 tips for surviving the strike. We tell people to go read books and tell them what books to read, and why this is the time to watch Rachael Ray.”

Shit is getting grim.

Everyone on edge over DGA deal [Variety]
DGA as peacemaker [LAT]
As Strike Grinds On, Entertainment Publications Suffer [NYO]