Hollywood, CA (January 16, 2008)–Hollywood entertainment industry trade publications are reporting that the strike by the Writers Guild of America now threatens the Grammy Awards telecast. The two-month-old WGA strike has already resulted in drastically reworked coverage of the Golden Globe Awards and could also sideline the Academy Awards broadcast.
According to the reports, WGA spokesman Gregg Mitchell said on Monday that while the Recording Academy has not yet requested a waiver or interim agreement that would allow the show to go on, the guild is unlikely to grant one. He also noted that John Cossette Productions, longtime producer of the Grammy show, is on the WGA’s list of “struck companies.”
The milestone 50th annual Grammy Awards are scheduled to air live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles February 10. A decision has not yet been made whether WGA members–many of whom are based in Los Angeles–will picket the event, Mitchell said.
A picket line would not only prevent the attendance of the usual two-dozen or so actors who serve as presenters on the telecast but also many of the nominated musicians. Nominees Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Queen Latifah, Jack White, Jon Bon Jovi, Tim McGraw, T.I. and Fantasia have all appeared in motion pictures and television and are Screen Actors Guild members, as are a good number of the musicians and celebrities likely to attend the event. As Variety magazine also points out, other nominees, including Bruce Springsteen, the Beastie Boys, Joni Mitchell, John Mellencamp and Steve Earle, have shown union solidarity in the past and not crossed picket lines.
Although the Grammy telecast is heavy on musical performances, producers are sure to have plans for the milestone 50th anniversary event that would require writers. The Recording Academy typically begins announcing performers and presenters at the Grammys three weeks ahead of the show, but many artist managers have reportedly held off accepting their invitations until the strike situation is clarified.
50th Annual Grammy Awards