The Tony Awards management committee will appeal to the Writers Guild of America and ask the guild not to pick up the televised awards ceremony, possibly to go ahead with the broadcast, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
On Friday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the WGA rejected a waiver request that would allow the Tony Awards to air June 11 on CBS and stream on Paramount+. SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity members, as well as host Ariana Debose, would be willing to cross picket lines.
The decision to appeal again was made after the Tony Awards management committee held an emergency meeting on Monday to determine the fate of the awards. Another possible option would be to present the awards at a non-televised event on June 11, but then the nominated productions, most of whom perform on the broadcast, would miss out on the marketing push by being broadcast to a national audience . Procrastination is not an option on the table.
Voting for the Tony Awards is scheduled for May 16.
The show was originally scheduled to air in two parts, with a preshow, titled The Tony Awards: Act One, broadcast live on Paramount Global’s FAST platform, Pluto TV, from 6:30-8:00 PM ET/ 3:30-5:00 PM PT. The main ceremony was broadcast on CBS from 8-11pm ET/5-8pm PT and also streamed live and on-demand on Paramount+.
The 76th Annual Tony Awards will take place at the new United Palace location in New York City’s Washington Heights. (The ceremony is traditionally held at Radio City Music Hall). Ariana DeBose has been asked to host the ceremony for the second year in a row.
Other awards ceremonies have so far been disrupted by the WGA strike. The MTV Movie Awards were moved to a pre-recorded show from a live ceremony on May 7, after the WGA said it would pick up the awards show. Host Drew Barrymore also quit before the show flipped to pre-recorded, in solidarity with the WGA. The Guild canceled his picket after formatting.
More to come…