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From the picket line: Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself

On the WGA picket lines, there’s plenty of wariness about the DGA and what’s presumed to be the next deal with the AMPTP. It’s widely believed that the DGA deal could be announced as early as the end of this week.

At best, there’s a wait-and-see attitude but many believe that the directors won’t put up a serious fight with the AMPTP.

“I’d say everyone is pretty skeptical about the DGA,” noted strike captain T.S. Cook (“The China Syndrome”) on the line at Paramount on Wednesday morning. “The DGA has becoming deals that aren’t very good for a long time. They’re run by the top directors and they’re not particularly democratic.”

About 25 pickets were at the Windsor gate as of mid-morning Wednesday. 

Cook also noted that usual distribution of residuals results in working WGA members relying more heavily on those payments than individual DGA members. He also said he even discussed with a friend sending over a singing group to the AMPTP headquarters when the negotiations started to serenade the parties with “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”

Striking writers, now in the 11th week of their work stoppage, have had plenty of time to ponder what the DGA might do. Some point to the original home video residual deal in the mid-80s, when the DGA agreed to exclude 80% of wholesale revenues — a formula that’s never been altered for any of the guilds.

“The DGA has a history of making mediocre deals,” noted strike captain A.S. Katz (“Tales From the Crypt”). “We’re all hoping that they can rectify that.”