May 16, 2023 - Economy & Business

Striking writers pledge not to picket Tony Awards

Writers hold signs while picketing in front of Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California on May 15, 2023.

Writers hold signs while picketing in front of Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, on Monday as the strike by the Writers Guild of America enters its third week. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Striking Writers Guild of America members announced Monday night they won't picket next month's Tony Awards, but emphasized they won't negotiate an interim agreement or a waiver for the event.

Why it matters: It means the show celebrating Broadway's big night can go on with a televised broadcast on CBS and live-streamed by Paramount+ as scheduled on June 11 — albeit without scripted segments, per Broadway World.

Driving the news: The Tony Awards Management Committee said earlier Monday it would ask the WGA for its members not to picket the 76th Annual Tony Awards after the guild last week rejected its request for a waiver to broadcast the ceremony during the strike, per the Hollywood Reporter.

What they're saying: "Tony Awards Productions (a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing) has communicated with us that they are altering this year’s show to conform with specific requests from the WGA, and therefore the WGA will not be picketing the show," per a union statement issued to news outlets.

  • "Responsibility for having to make changes to the format of the 2023 Tony Awards rests squarely on the shoulders of Paramount/CBS and their allies. They continue to refuse to negotiate a fair contract for the writers represented by the WGA," the statement added.
  • "As they have stood by us, we stand with our fellow workers on Broadway who are impacted by our strike."

The big picture: The WGA members began their first strike in 15 years on May 2 after negotiations for a new labor deal with Hollywood studios broke down, halting production of late-night shows including "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," and delaying many scripted programs.

  • The writers want better compensation and residuals, shorter exclusivity deals and for studios the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to take action over AI, including regulating its use.

Go deeper: Writers' strike highlights extra barriers LatiTnos and writers of color face

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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