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The Directors Guild of America has named Lesli Linka Glatter as its new president, the craft union announced Saturday.
Glatter, a veteran TV director of shows such as Homeland and The Good Wife, was elected by acclamation by delegates at the Guild’s national biennial convention on Saturday in Los Angeles. She succeeds The West Wing director and executive producer Thomas Schlamme, who announced he was stepped down after four years in the role in a letter printed in the September edition of the DGA Monthly magazine.
“I am honored to have been chosen by my peers to serve as President, and am committed to continuing our Guild’s great legacy of protecting the economic and creative rights of our members—always with our eye on the future” said Glatter in a statement.
A member of the Guild since 1985, Glatter has served on its National Board since 2003 (including as first vice president) and has worked on three Negotiating Committees, including its most recent iteration. She has also been a member or alternate of the Western Directors Council and a member of the PAC Leadership Council and the Creative Rights Committee.
“And there is nothing that makes me more hopeful about our future than looking around at this formidable, profoundly creative and incredibly diverse Board representing the future of this industry,” continued Glatter. “I am blown away by their generosity of spirit and dedication to serving their fellow members, even as they juggle such demanding and successful careers. In these times of great technological and cultural change, we stand ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. And just as we have throughout our 85-year history, together we will prevail.”
With DGA presidents serving two-year terms, Glatter will lead during negotiations for the union’s next Basic Agreement, which are set for 2023. With the DGA a major part of the coalition of entertainment unions (alongside SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, the Teamsters and the Basic Crafts) that negotiated the return-to-work safety agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, Glatter will also play a role in updating safety protocols as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
Alongside Glatter’s election, Mary Rae Thewlis was re-elected as national vp, while past DGA president Paris Barclay was will serve as secretary-treasurer. Elected as first vp was Betty Thomas, with Ron Howard, Barry Jenkins, Seith Mann, Ava DuVernay and Lily Olszewski serving in additional vp positions.
In December, the Guild became the first Hollywood union to share concerns about WarnerMedia’s 2021 day-and-date release strategy, with sources telling The Hollywood Reporter that the union sent a critical letter to Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff asking for a meeting to discuss the decision.
In his farewell letter to members, outgoing president Schlamme said the union would need the solidarity of its members to meet “the challenges on the horizon in this moment of transition only intensify.” He added, “We need you. Speak up and be part of this diverse family. It is that collective, evolving character of ours to always learn, to always do better, and to always try harder that makes us who we are — unified, bold and unstoppable.”
Representing around 18,600 members, the DGA bargains on behalf of directors, assistant directors, unit production managers, associate directors, stage managers and production associates.
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Writers Guild of America