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How the Writers Guild strike could impact the 2023 Tony Awards broadcast

Past strikes have affected awards shows — what about this year?

Members of the Wrtiers Guild of America West picket at Universal (Credit: Courtesy of WGAW)

On May 1, the board of the Writers Guild of America West and the council of the Writers Guild of America East voted unanimously for a union-wide strike. Together, the two labor unions make up the Writers Guild of America (WGA). The unions represent writers of scripted series, features, news programs and more who work in the television, film, news and new media industries. Collectively, the WGA consists of approximately 11,500 members. The strike had been authorized previously by 97.9 percent of the voting membership; 78.8 percent of members cast ballots.

For the past six weeks, representatives of the WGA and members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) — including Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony — have been in negotiations over the WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement (also known as the Minimum Basic Agreement or MBA) that governs items like pay, residuals and working conditions for writers. The current contract expired at 12:00 a.m. on May 2; the parties did not reach a new deal, and writers immediately enacted a strike. Writers work across features, episodic television and comedy-variety programming.

Though the contract applies to TV and film writers, the strike may still affect Broadway.

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