Hollywood Writers on a Strike?

Striking Hollywood Writers Spare Tony Awards from Picketing

Credit: Unsplash

In a recent development, striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) members have announced that they will not picket the upcoming Tony Awards telecast, providing some relief for show organizers and leaving the door open for a potential Broadway extravaganza on television.

Initially, the union had denied Tony organizers a waiver request allowing their glitzy live telecast to proceed on June 11. However, the WGA clarified in a statement that they would not negotiate an interim agreement or waiver for the Tony Awards, but they will not be picketing the show as organizers have agreed to make alterations in accordance with specific requests from the guild. The nature of these alterations remains undisclosed, but it may involve presenting a non-scripted version of the Tonys.

The ongoing strike, which has already disrupted late-night TV shows and delayed the production of scripted TV series, had cast a shadow over theatre’s most significant night—a night that many Broadway productions rely on to generate interest, with millions of viewers tuning in. Although the WGA represents writers across various entertainment mediums, it doesn’t directly represent Broadway writers. However, it does represent the writers who work on the Tonys telecast.

Tony organizers were faced with a difficult decision after their request for a waiver was turned down: either postpone the ceremony until the strike concludes or announce the winners at a non-televised gathering, risking nominees crossing picket lines.

The latest development introduces a potential third option—a non-scripted show heavily focused on performances—similar to what transpired during the 1988 awards ceremony held amidst a Writers Guild of America strike. That year, host Angela Lansbury and presenters improvised their speeches while performances from shows like “A Chorus Line” and “Anything Goes” took center stage.

Previously, the plan for the Tony Awards involved a two-part ceremony, with a pre-show of live performances streamed on Pluto, followed by the main awards ceremony broadcast live on CBS and streamed exclusively for Peacock’s premium-level members.

Other awards shows have also been impacted by the strike, including the MTV Movie & TV Awards, which proceeded without a host and relied on pre-recorded acceptance speeches and recycled clips. The PEN America Gala and the Peabody Awards, which honor excellence in broadcasting and streaming media, have likewise been affected, with the latter canceling its June 11 awards show.

Follow @TwistityNews