Los Angeles, CA (January 30, 2008)–The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has announced that it has granted an interim agreement to the Recording Academy for the Grammy Awards telecast. The waiver allows the regular WGA writing team of producer Ken Ehrlich and author-journalist David Wild to work on the milestone fiftieth annual show.
The waiver will also be taken as tacit approval for the show’s producers to invite Screen Actors Guild members to present or perform. Following the WGAW’s decision last week not to picket the show, the Recording Academy has started to announce performers scheduled for the telecast. Those committed so far include BeyoncÈ, Foo Fighters, Carrie Underwood, a special gospel segment featuring 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, the Clark Sisters, Israel And New Breed, and Trin-I-Tee 5:7, and Rihanna with a reunited the Time.
WGAW president Patric M. Verrone’s statement included the following: “Professional musicians face many of the same issues that we do concerning fair compensation for the use of their work in new media. In the interest of advancing our goal of achieving a fair contract, the WGAW Board felt that this decision should be made on behalf [of] our brothers and sisters in the American Federation of Musicians and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.”
In response, Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow issued a statement: “The Recording Academy is gratified by the WGA’s decision to grant the interim agreement we requested for our milestone 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Having our talented writers on the team further ensures the highest level of creativity and innovation, something our audience has come to expect every year. Music fans worldwide can look forward to an amazing lineup of artists and performances on February 10, making our 50th anniversary show one of the most memorable ever.”