Writers Guild of America members won’t picket the 2023 Tony Awards amid their ongoing strike seeking higher wages and better job protections, the labor union announced Monday night.
In the same statement though, the union reiterated that it will not negotiate a waiver or interim deal to allow WGA screenwriters to write a script for the show’s broadcast — leaving theater’s biggest night in limbo.
“As has been previously reported, the Writers Guilds of America East and West (WGA) will not negotiate an interim agreement or a waiver for the Tony Awards,” the statement said.
“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, and therefore the WGA will not be picketing the show.”
It’s unclear what alterations the Tony Awards producers have agreed to make to the awards show — which was scheduled to air on CBS and stream on Paramount+ on June 11.
Broadway workers — which are heavily unionized in different labor organizations — are largely expected to refuse to participate in the Tony Awards in solidarity with the WGA strike that began on May 2.
Earlier in the day, the Tony Awards Management Committee opted to appeal to the WGA and again request that the labor union strike a deal to allow the broadcast or at least not picket the ceremony.
The committee met Monday to decide how the show would go on if a compromise was not reached. Their options reportedly included a press conference-style announcement of the winners or holding off the ceremony until the strike ends — which could mean months.
The Tonys were set to be hosted by “West Side Story” star Ariana DeBose at the United Palace in Washington Heights.
Voting for award winners begins Tuesday at noon.