Leadership / 05.17.23
Writers Guild of America Will Not Picket Tony Awards After Promises of Alterations, Clearing Possible Path to June 11 Ceremony
Playbill (05/15/23) Culwell-Block, Logan
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) stated on May 15 that it will not picket this year's Tony Awards, strengthening the possibility of a June 11 ceremony. This update comes in response to promised modifications "to conform with specific requests from the WGA." The guild has been on strike since May 2 following collapsed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers over issues that include royalties for streaming titles and the potential use of artificial intelligence in screenwriting. The Tony Awards Committee requested a waiver so that the broadcast could be held as originally planned, which WGA denied. While the guild does not represent Broadway writers, the Tonys are a TV show; therefore the union does represent the writers who create the material used during the event, including comedy bits for the host and presenters' read banter. A second waiver request to the awards' organizers included further concessions to the WGA. The union's latest statement suggests it is acknowledging how a canceled Tony Awards broadcast would hurt Broadway shows that were hoping for an increase in ticket sales, as producers often set aside cash to allow productions to run at a loss, if required, in the weeks leading up to awards night, hoping the Tonys will help them find an audience.
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Tags: Leadership , Tony Awards