The show must go on — and now it officially will.
In a move that was widely expected after saying last week they would not picket the Grammy ceremony, the Writer's Guild of America has agreed to an interim agreement with the producers of the Grammy telecast.
"Professional musicians face many of the same issues that we do concerning fair compensation for the use of their work in new media," says WGA West President Patric Verrone, in a statement. "In the interest of advancing our goal of achieving a fair contract, the WGAW Board felt that this decision should be made on behalf our brothers and sisters in the American Federation of Musicians and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists."
The deal, believed to be modeled on other interim agreements reached with the likes of David Letterman's production company Worldwide Pants, means that material for the show will be written under a Guild contract, in effect giving the union's blessing to the awards show despite the ongoing three-month-old writer's strike.
"The Recording Academy is gratified by the WGA's decision to grant the
interim agreement we requested for our milestone 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards," says Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow in a statement. "Having our talented writers on the team further ensures the highest level of creativity and innovation, something our audience has come to expect every year. Music fans worldwide can look forward to an amazing lineup of artists and performances on February 10, making our 50th anniversary show one of the most memorable ever."
The news of an interim agreement concludes two weeks during which there were intense behind-the-scenes negotiations between various entertainment and music industry guilds to assure the Writer's Guild that picketing the show would not serve their best interests -- and that doing so would set the stage for an ugly showdown between organizations that revel in presenting a unified front.
The announcement last week that the WGA would not picket the show came on the heels of high-profile talent, including Screen Actors Guild member Beyonce and The Foo Fighters, saying that they would perform at the show regardless of whether it was officially labeled a struck work.