Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay Among Directors Urging Changes in DGA Parental Policies

Variety | 1/1/2020 | Dave McNary
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Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon and more than 40 other women directors are urging the Directors Guild of America to change its policies for new and expectant parents.

The directors have co-signed a letter by documentary filmmaker Jessica Dimmock seeking an extension of the qualifying period for DGA health insurance coverage to 18 months for new mothers to make the yearly minimum in earnings. Currently, the qualifying period is 12 months.

Letter - Wednesday - DGA - Parenthood - Penalty

The letter was posted Wednesday on a newly created DGA Parenthood Penalty web page. The campaign announcement comes three days before the 72nd DGA Awards show.

“Here is our ask,” the letter reads. “New mothers should be afforded additional time to make their yearly minimum in the year that they give birth. This provides new parents the opportunity to take the time they need to physically care for their child as well as recover and recuperate. Women will return to their work better equipped to handle the challenges of balancing parenting and work and better equipped to delve into their future projects. This should apply for adoptive parents as well.”

Minimum - Insurance - Guild - Year - Income

The current minimum to qualify for insurance through the guild is slightly under $36,000 a year in income from DGA directing jobs in a 12-month period. An hourlong episode of broadcast television would make a minimum of roughly $47,000, according to the DGA.

A DGA representative said the guild had responded to Dimmock’s request by asking the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans, a separate entity that administers healthcare plans for guild members, to look at the issue.

Matter - DGA - Plans - Representative

“The matter was recently brought to the DGA, and we have asked the Plans to examine it,” said the representative.

Dimmock said she was pregnant while co-directing Netflix’s “Flint Town” before her daughter was born September, 2017. She noted that her partner, DGA member Zackary Canepari, was able...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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