Grammys Hope For Strike-Free Show
January 16, 2008 at 5:45 AM (PT)
Organizers of the GRAMMY AWARDS have asked striking writers to let next month's ceremony go ahead with its script staff and star lineup intact. THE RECORDING ACADEMY, which stages the music honors, has asked the WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA (WGA) for a waiver to let its members work on the ceremony.
Writers have been on strike since NOVEMBER in a dispute with film and TV producers over payments when their work is sold on DVD and online. Their walkout has already forced the GOLDEN GLOBE awards to be scaled back to a news conference after actors said they would not cross the writers' picket line.
RECORDING ACADEMY president NEIL PORTNOW said he would "take whatever action is necessary" to ensure the GRAMMYS go ahead as planned on FEBRUARY 10th. He said the ceremony's production company, COSSETTE PRODUCTIONS, was seeking an interim agreement with the WGA under the same terms that allowed writers to return to work on DAVID LETTERMAN's TV show on JANUARY 3rd.
In a statement released TODAY, PORTNOW wrote, "GRAMMY Week represents the most significant worldwide music event of the year. And we are in a different industry than the motion picture and television business; I am quite certain that most are aware of the extremely difficult and challenging conditions facing our industry's creators and companies, unparalleled in our history. This year, more than ever, GRAMMY Week and the milestone of a 50th GRAMMY AWARDS, along with the 50th Anniversary of the founding of THE RECORDING ACADEMY, are a centerpiece and beacon of hope, optimism and represent literally multi-millions of dollars in sales, promotion and marketing for our musicians and as such, take on far more significance than simply three-and-one-half hours of television programming."