Tony Awards continue, striking writers agree not to picket

The show, as they say, must go on, and indeed the Tony Awards will air its 2023 ceremony. American theater’s highest celebration was compromised, along with many other broadcast events, Writers Guild of America strike. Initially WGA Denied an exemption for Tonys The show was supposed to go ahead, but the guild agreed on Monday that it would not boycott the event after producers agreed to changes.

“As previously announced, the Writers Guilds of America East and West (WGA) will not negotiate an interim agreement or waiver for the Tony Awards,” the guild wrote in a statement (via ). Deadline) “However, Tony Awards Productions (a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing) has communicated with us that they will modify this year’s program to comply with WGA’s specific requests, so the WGA will not boycott the program. .”

It was not confirmed what the changes would be, a source said The New York Times The show “will not feature any material written by screenwriters in its opening number or comedic style” and “will not use any part of a draft script written before the start of the screenwriters’ strike.” Rather run The program will be transparent bare bones, Presenting awards and performances from Broadway shows. It’s unclear whether host Ariana DeBose, who was announced before the strike began, will still be involved.

Unlike the others Award programs Scheduled during a strike – say, MTV Movie and TV Awards, for example – the impact of the strike on Tonys has been the cause of some debate, even within the guild. Very much point A strike means serious disruption both logistically and financially. (A recent report by the WGA suggested that the strike costs California’s economy $30 million a day. Deadline.) This is a sure way to demonstrate the importance of writers to the industry from an artistic and economic standpoint.

However, supporters of the Tonys argued that airing the awards show was a labor issue in its own right. The Broadway celebration is seen as an important promotion for live theatre, which is seen as vital as the industry struggles to regain its footing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Placing the blame for the problem solely on AMPTP (the studios’ bargaining unit), a member of the WGA, and the playwright. Jeremy O. Harris Earlier on Twitter, he said, “Negotiations cannot be fueled by terror, but I hope our union listens to the voices of writers asking behind closed doors to find a solution that is not the nail in the coffin. The industry is fighting to survive.”

“The responsibility to make changes to the format of the 2023 Tony Awards rests squarely on the shoulders of Paramount/CBS. and their alliesRead the WGA’s statement on Monday. “They continue to refuse to negotiate a fair contract for the writers the WGA represents.”

However, the statement emphasized solidarity with the many hundreds of workers in the theater community. “We stand with our colleagues at Broadway affected by our strike as they stood by us,” it concluded. Actors role leader Gate shingle He retweeted the statement on his own Twitter with thanks to the WGA, encouraging his members to show up to the guild’s picket lines. “Oh, and because it can’t be said enough: it’s still #AMPTP’s fault, and the writers should never have been pushed to this point,” he wrote. “We can praise mercy and point out the guilty, right?”

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The Tony Awards will air on CBS and Paramount+ on June 11, 2023 at 8:00 EST.

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