AceShowbiz - The Tony Awards will be going ahead without picketers from the Writers Guild of America. There had been concerns the annual event, which honors the best of Broadway and was set to be hosted by Ariana DeBose for the second year in a row, would be at risk due to the ongoing WGA strike, but a compromise has been reached between both parties.
In a statement, the guild said, "As has been previously reported, the Writers Guilds of American East and West (WGA) will not negotiate an interim agreement or a waiver for the Tony Awards. However, 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."
"Therefore the WGA will not be picketing the show," they promised. "As they have stood by us, we stand with our fellow workers on Broadway who are impacted by our strike."
The organization insisted the blame for the award show needing to make changes to this year's event "rests squarely" on Paramount, CBS "and their allies." They continued, "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 Tony Awards Management Committee had decided to appeal to the WGA and ask that striking writers would not picket the award ceremony to allow the broadcast to take place, while the guild had denied the show's producers a waiver to allow them to proceed during the strike.
It's not yet been specified what format the show will use, and what alterations will be made. However, the New York Times newspaper has reported it's likely that while the event will feature awards presentations and live musical performances, no scripted content will be included.
Regarding the agreement, Kate Shindle, president of Actor Equity, tweeted, "Thank you, @WGAWest and @WGAEast. @ActorsEquity members: time to double down on showing up at their pickets. Oh, and because it can't be said enough: this is still #AMPTP's fault, and the writers should never have been put in this position. We can appreciate the grace AND point at the culprits, right?"