No decisions were reached at today’s emergency meeting of the Tony Awards Management Committee, a get-together in which contingency plans were discussed in light of last week’s news that the June 11 ceremony will not be televised on CBS due to the Writers Guild of America strike.
The key issue to be determined is whether or not the Tony organizers will stick to the June 11 date, televised or not. Sources close to the situation say that Tony organizers are making a last-ditch effort to convince the WGA to issue the strike waiver that would allow the June 11 ceremony to go on as planned with CBS airing the broadcast and Paramount+ streaming the event.
Short of that, Tony organizers – the Broadway League, the American Theatre Wing, exec producers White Cherry Entertainment – will have to decide whether to go forward with the awards presentation on June 11 in a non-televised ceremony or even a press conference-style announcement, or to postpone the ceremony until after the strike.
Whether other contingency plans are being considered is unclear. None of the three organizers have commented on the matter. Tony voters are set to begin casting ballots tomorrow.
Last week, the Writers Guild of America denied producers of the Tony Awards a requested strike waiver that would have allowed the ceremony to proceed with WGA writers penning the script as usual, a necessary step in getting the show broadcast on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.
The waiver denial sent a shockwave through an industry that prizes the annual CBS broadcast as national exposure crucial to ticket sales, publicity and marketing.
The Tony Awards are set – at least for now – for Sunday, June 11 at the United Palace in New York City’s Washington Heights. Whether Ariana DeBose will remain attached to a scaled-down, non-televised ceremony is unclear.