Warner Bros. programs. Discovery Pipeline for writers and directors is reinstated – The Hollywood Reporter

Discovery of Warner Bros. backed out of a plan to close workshops for up-and-coming writers and directors after industry backlash.

The company said in a statement Wednesday that it is moving the Directors’ Workshop and Writers’ Workshop programs from its former home to Warner Bros. Television to the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion division after the conclusion of the current writers’ workshop, which ends in March 2023. WBD added that the DEI unit “will expand the workshop programs through its existing division pipeline programs”.

Currently, according to a spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery, there are no plans to change the number of workshop participants – up to eight writers and eight to 12 directors – in the future.

Sources say the current class of writers in WBTV workshops will be supported in their current homes until March 2023. The new workshops will be managed at the corporate level and will operate company-wide in its content portfolio, with some WBTV practices. postponing the workshops on the new ones, which will nevertheless make changes to the programs.

Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported on an earlier plan to shut down these programs, which were often seen as a key gateway for diverse talent to receive significant industry opportunities in the directing and writing space, although they did not have no diversity mandate per se. At the time, the WBTV Group’s announcement read, “While we no longer have these formalized programs in place, we remain committed to developing and nurturing emerging talent and preparing them for careers in television. “

This new announcement comes about half an hour after the Directors Guild of America declared its intention to “fight” the closure of the Warner Bros. television workshop. and its program of achievement, which, according to the union, are mandated by their collective agreement.

“The DGA today announced its commitment to fight Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision to dismantle its television director development program,” the union said in a statement on Wednesday. “The DGA will not sit idly by as WB/Discovery seeks to roll back decades of advancement for women and directors of color.” THR asked the DGA to comment on the latest developments.

The specific provision that the DGA claims the shutdown of the programs violates is Sec. 15-203 of their 2014 Basic Agreement, which reads: “On or before July 1, 2014, each of the major television studios (i.e. ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Television) (the “Major Television Studios”) will establish and maintain a television director development program designed to expand opportunities for episodic television directors with an emphasis on increasing diversity. “The Basic Agreement calls for these programs to seek out members from underrepresented groups, provide participants with the opportunity to meet creative executives, and find leadership opportunities for participants when possible, among other provisions. .”

Although the WBTV workshops – the directors’ edition began in 2013 and the writers’ edition over 40 years ago – have featured relatively diverse cohorts and have been credited with bringing more creatives from marginalized identities into industry, they were not developed “with a single diversity lens,” WBD said in its announcement this afternoon. “They will now operate with a specific DEI lens.”

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