Quick DGA Action Leads Warner Bros. Discovery to Revisit Dismantling TV Directors’ Development Program

Directors Guild of America

October 21, 2022

On October 11, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that as part of a series of layoffs and budget cuts at Warner Bros. TV Group, it would dismantle its TV Directors’ development program. The program was established as the result of the DGA’s decades of work to pressure the Studios to diversify their hiring practices. On October 12, the DGA announced its commitment to fight against that decision and that the Guild would not stand idly by while WB/Discovery seeks to roll back decades of advancement for women and Directors of color.

“It is unconscionable that proven efforts to diversify our industry are so quickly and cavalierly sacrificed,” said the Guild in an official statement issued to the press. “This important program, mandated by the DGA collective bargaining agreement, seeks to promote inclusive hiring practices for diversified talent and concludes with program participants provided an opportunity to direct an episode of TV. The program, and others like it, is essential to establish an inclusive directorial workforce in the entertainment industry. We have been in contact with WB and have received their commitment to work with us to remedy this important matter. We will do everything in our power to make sure they do so.”

The WB directing program, run in collaboration with veteran Directors Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli, has been exceptionally successful in mobilizing inclusive talent with new stories to tell. The industry has greatly benefited from the successful alumni of these workshops including Directors Regina King, Jude Weng, Laura Belsey, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Stacey Black, and Nina Lopez-Corrado, among many others. 

Immediately after the DGA statement and other outcry from the industry, WB/Discovery announced that it would work with the DGA on the formulation of a new program.