Will the Show Go On for the 2023 Tonys? WGA Denies Waiver for Awards Show
The Writers Guild of America has denied a waiver to allow the Tony Awards to be televised on CBS and Paramount+ on June 11, according to a Friday report in The Hollywood Reporter, which means the show might not be televised on CBS/Paramount+ as planned, or even happen at all.
“The Tony Awards is the biggest commercial for the industry at large, and for a show like mine, which is unbranded and just at the stage where we are finally starting to see some lifeblood, it would be devastating to not be able to be part of this,” Mike Bosner, the lead producer of “Shucked,” one of the five shows nominated for Best New Musical, told The New York Times on Friday.
TheWrap has reached out to the Tony Awards PR company, as well as WGA, CBS and Paramount+ for comment.
The Tony Awards are scheduled on June 11, but the televised ceremony is imperiled by the W.G.A. strike. Broadway is asking the union for a waiver, arguing theater is not a party to the Hollywood dispute and the Tonys are key to keeping new musicals afloat. https://t.co/UkfHhcd4I8
— Michael Paulson (@MichaelPaulson) May 12, 2023
Ariana DeBose was set to return as host for the 2023 awards. Nominees include Jessica Chastain, Corey Hawkins, Sean Hayes, Wendell Pierce and Josh Groban.
Robert Greenblatt, one of the producers of another Best New Musical nominee, “Some Like It Hot,” told the Times, “My guess is that there won’t be a broadcast.” Greenblatt was formerly chairman of NBC Entertainment and WarnerMedia and helped launch HBO Max.
Times reporter Michael Paulson, who co-wrote the story, tweeted early Friday, “Broadway is asking the union for a waiver, arguing theater is not a party to the Hollywood dispute and the Tonys are key to keeping new musicals afloat.”
“It would be especially devastating to not have that opportunity — to not be able to showcase how many great and diverse plays and musicals are on Broadway right now,” said Eva Price, a producer on “& Juliet,”which is also up for Best New Musical.
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According to the Times, the Tony Awards management committee has called an emergency meeting for Monday morning to discuss their options.
Reaction on Twitter was mixed, with some saying Broadway shouldn’t have to take a hit for Hollywood, while others argue it’s more important for the strike to go on.
“I love the Tonys, I love theatre, and strikes don’t work if they’re convenient,” tweeted author Jamie Green.
The WGA strike, which began on May 2 and remains unresolved, has already resulted in changes to the MTV Movie and TV Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards.
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