In an unprecedented turn of events, the Tony Awards are set to break new ground with an unscripted, televised broadcast on CBS, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed. The Tony Awards Management Committee’s decision comes in the wake of denied waivers from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which is currently on strike.
Despite the unorthodox format, Ariana DeBose, a Broadway powerhouse, is still expected to be involved in the ceremony, according to inside sources.
Last week, the Tony Awards Management Committee requested a waiver from the WGA, which was declined. The committee reached out to the Writers Guild once more on Monday in an attempt to find a solution, but to no avail.
On Monday evening, the WGA clarified that they would not grant a waiver or exception for the upcoming June 11 ceremony. The union, however, confirmed that they would not picket the event, offering a sliver of relief amid the escalating tension.
This decision comes after Tony Awards Productions promised to make changes to the show “to conform with specific requests from the WGA,” the guild announced in a statement.
The WGA statement squarely blamed Paramount/CBS for the required format changes to the 2023 Tony Awards, citing their refusal to “negotiate a fair contract for the writers represented by the WGA.” The guild reaffirmed its solidarity with Broadway workers affected by the strike.
A script for the ceremony, The Hollywood Reporter disclosed earlier, had already been written before the writers strike commenced.
As the Broadway community and fans worldwide eagerly anticipate the awards, it is clear that this year’s ceremony will be a Tony Awards like no other. The industry’s resilience is being tested as it navigates these challenging times, but the spirit of theater persists, ready to be celebrated on the much-anticipated night of June 11.