NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — The organizers of the prestigious Tony Awards have reportedly scheduled an emergency meeting on Monday to address the potential complications arising from the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike.
Initial reports from the New York Times indicate that the Tony Awards organizers are deeply concerned by the strike’s potential impact. They are particularly concerned about the presence of picket lines outside the venue, reduced attendance from industry creatives expressing solidarity with the writers’ unions, and potential issues with the live broadcast of the show.
In order to proceed with the broadcast on CBS and streaming partner Paramount+, the Tony Awards team has reportedly asked for a waiver from the WGA. CBS and Paramount are members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the body responsible for representing studios in labor negotiations and failing to secure this waiver would almost certainly result in WGA representatives picketing the awards show.
Key figures within the Broadway community, including the renowned Lin-Manuel Miranda, have already declared their intent not to cross picket lines, potentially leaving a considerable void in star power at the Tony Awards.
The strike’s timing is critical for both the Tony Awards and Broadway as a whole, as the industry continues to grapple with the aftermath of the pandemic. The New York Times noted that four out of the five musicals nominated for Best New Musical are currently struggling to sell enough tickets to cover costs. Consequently, a Tony win or a strong cast performance on the prestigious Tonys stage could prove vital for their survival.
“The Tony Awards serve as a significant marketing opportunity for the industry as a whole. For shows like mine, which lack brand recognition and have just started gaining momentum, it would be devastating not to be part of this event,” expressed theatrical producer Mike Bosner in an interview with the New York Times.
According to the Times, Tony Awards organizers are considering various scenarios to navigate these challenges. These include pre-recorded performances, potentially eliminating the broadcast element, or even a complete postponement of the event.
“This is a complex situation that everyone is trying to navigate. It will be a busy weekend of phone calls because this season had tremendous energy, but the industry is apprehensive. A grand celebration of Broadway is much needed,” shared Theodore S. Chapin, a member of the Tony Awards management committee, with the New York Times.