Spokesman: WGA Won't Picket Grammy Ceremony
The Writer's Guild of America won't picket the Grammy Awards next month, according to a guild spokesman, but the status of the Recording Academy's application to the WGA for an interim agreement for tThe Writer's Guild of America won't picket the Grammy Awards next month, according to a guild spokesman, but the status of the Recording Academy's application to the WGA for an interim agreement for their two members who work on the show is still up in the air. The Board of Directors of the WGA West is scheduled to meet tonight (Jan. 22).
In the past 10 days, officials with the Recording Academy have repeatedly met with WGA West president Patric Verrone outlining the reasons why the interim deal should be reached. In essence, the argument is that while performers' unions -- namely AFTRA and AFM -- support the writers in their strike against the producers, any actions that makes the Grammys collateral damage is unacceptable.
The Recording Academy has lawyered up and hired a public relations firm that specializes in crisis management to press their viewpoint in the mass media. (It seems to be taking hold; in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times, entertainment columnist Patrick Goldstein told Verrone that he "shouldn't pick a fight you might lose. NARAS won't roll over and play dead like the Globes.")
One of the critical elements of the Grammys that was emphasized to Verrone is the charities that benefit from Grammy Week and the telecast, especially MusiCares. Emphasizing the charitable benefits of Grammy week would seem to be a smart move -- the waivers granted to date for the NAACP Image Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards both cited the progressive societal benefits to those organizations having a televised show.
Several artists, including Screen Actor's Guild member Beyonce, and the Foo Fighters, have said they intend to perform at the Grammys regardless of how the labor dispute turns out.