Hollywood labor lawyer Jay D. Roth has been elected executive director of the Directors Guild of America, one of the more powerful labor positions in entertainment, the guild announced Sunday.
Roth is managing partner of Taylor, Roth, Bush & Geffner in Burbank, where he has worked with all of Hollywood's major guilds on a variety of issues, including representing them in trade talks affecting film and television.
Roth also has been active in trying to recover residuals for stars, writers and directors in bankruptcy cases involving firms such as Gladden Entertainment, Weintraub Entertainment and Orion Pictures. Although most of Roth's work lately has been in entertainment, he has been active in other labor matters, including serving as counsel to the International Assn. of Machinists during the 1994 employee buyout of United Airlines.
Roth, 49, fills a spot vacated Sunday by Glenn J. Gumpel, who resigned after eight years to take a job as executive vice president of MCA Recreation Services.
The Directors Guild membership consists of more than 10,000 film and television directors and their assistants.
Roth's first major challenge will come next June when the guild contract with studios and producers expires. In addition to money, creative issues are likely to be a sticky point in talks. Directors are increasingly complaining that producers, stars and others are meddling too much in their work.