The Writers Strike Has Forced MTV to Pre-Tape Its Movie Awards
Right now, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is going on strike to secure better compensation and equity structures for TV and film writers across Hollywood. As parts of the efforts to draw attention to their cause, writers are picketing at various studio lots on both the east and west coasts. Even though it’s only been a few days since the strike started, their efforts appear to be working, as the upcoming MTV Movie Awards have been fairly hobbled by the striking.
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Per Deadline, MTV’s elected to forgo its usual live airing of the annual awards show in favor of a pre-taped event. The WGA had reportedly planned to picket the awards, which would’ve meant setting up members where red carpets or interviews were being filmed and drawing attention to the strike. (MTV is a subsidiary of Paramount, which also owns Star Trek, Nickelodeon, and CBS.) Despite the disruption, Paramount’s events president Bruce Gillmer seemed optimistic that the studio could “carefully navigate” the pivot to recording. “[This] still enables us to produce a memorable night full of exclusive sneak peaks, irreverent categories our audience has come to expect, and countless moments that will both surprise and delight as we honor the best of film and TV over the past year.”
Normally, the MTV Movie Awards aren’t much to write home about. But this year’s showing also happens to be the first awards ceremony to air post-strike, which means its reaction to the WGA may be a taste of what’s to come, depending on how long the strike proceeds. Celebrities who’d previously been advertised as attending are said to be reconsidering their appearance (if they haven’t pulled out already), and would-be host Drew Barrymore said she wouldn’t host as a form of solidarity with the striking writers. “I will pivot from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike,” she wrote in a statement. “Until a solution is reached, I am choosing to wait but I’ll be watching from home and hope you will join me.”
Speaking to Barrymore’s last minute withdrawal and the awards show’s fluctuating state, Gillmer told Variety that the focus continues to be on “delivering for the fans. […] We’ve got backups to our backups, and we’re planning on keeping as many of the signature elements of the show intact.” By his own admission, though, he’s got no clue how things like award sequences will go: some accepted speeches will be pre-taped, and there’s other contingencies in place in case a star opts to not show. But the chaotic nature of this will likely be felt to the audience in some way, and it further underlines how messy things are going to get if the corporations don’t just give Writers Guild what they’re asking for.
The MTV Movie Awards will air on Sunday night, May 6.
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