Tony Awards Show Expected to Go On Despite WGA Strike

May 25, 2023

NEW YORK – On May 2, nominees were announced for the 76th Annual Tony Awards. But just hours earlier, at 12:01 a.m. PDT (3:01 a.m. in New York), the Writers Guild of America (WGA), deadlocked in a labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), went on strike.

And since the plan was to broadcast the June 11 ceremony starting at 8 p.m. Eastern live from the historic United Palace in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood on CBS and Paramount+, both of which are AMPTP members, it looked like the ceremony itself might be in limbo – subject to possible postponement or replaced by a news conference announcing the winners.

On May 15, however, the WGA issued a statement noting that they will not picket the Tony Awards, clearing the way for the show to be broadcast live, but with some adjustments. The “no picket line” assurance means that members of other unions will now be able to attend and work the Tony Awards without crossing a WGA picket line.

At the same time, the statement noted, WGA “will not negotiate an interim agreement or a waiver for the Tony awards.” Along with an absence of scripted banter, the ceremony may have to forgo a scripted original opening number if it has yet to be written. However, performances from the nominated shows and the actual presentation of the awards themselves will be able to be broadcast.

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