Grammy Awards seek interim agreement with WGA

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After days of
speculation as to whether the show will indeed go on, we still don’t have a
definitive answer, but the Grammy Awards look one step closer to finding
resolution in the face of potential picketing by the on-strike Writers Guild of
America. Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy, today announced that the
organization has requested an interim agreement from the WGA for the Feb. 10
telecast and that preparations “remain in full-swing.” Should that agreement
happen, it would mean that high-profile actor-musicians like Justin Timberlake,
Beyonce, and Jack White would be able to attend the show without fear of
crossing picket lines.

Citing the Recording Academy’s longstanding support of unions and musicians’ rights, Portnow also declared a would-be coalition with AFTRA and AFM. “The Academy is pleased and gratified that AFTRA and AFM, the two unions that have long been the only ones with jurisdiction and representation of the musical talent on the show, stand alongside us in our efforts to present the 50th Annual Grammy Awards at a level that millions of music fans around the world expect and deserve,” Portnow said in the statement, adding that he “remains hopeful that there will be a quick and positive response” by the WGA to “fully support the offer of the producer, Cossette Productions, to immediately execute an interim agreement under the same terms as those arrangements signed by the WGA with David Letterman’s company, Worldwide Pants (airing on the same network as the Grammy telecast) as well as other companies.”

As for those wondering whether all the hoopla surrounding the 50th
anniversary of the Grammys, including a variety of events and the
annual Musicares benefit will continue as planned, rest assured that
the parties will rage on as long as a deal goes through. Said Portnow:
“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.”

As for those wondering whether all the hoopla surrounding the 50thanniversary of the Grammys, including a variety of events and theannual Musicares benefit will continue as planned, rest assured thatthe parties will rage on as long as a deal goes through. Said Portnow:"Grammy Week represents the most significant worldwide music event ofthe year. And we are in a different industry than the motion pictureand television business; I am quite certain that most are aware of theextremely difficult and challenging conditions facing our industry’screators and companies, unparalleled in our history. This year, morethan ever, Grammy Week and the milestone of a 50th Grammy Awards, alongwith the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Recording Academy, area centerpiece and beacon of hope, optimism, and represent literallymulti-millions of dollars in sales, promotion, and marketing for ourmusicians and as such, take on far more significance than simply threeand one-half hours of television programming."


Comments (18 total) Add your comment
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  • Tinah

    Who cares? If Britney’s not performing, it’s going to be boring anyway. It’s just gonna be a re-hash of last year’s Grammys. And the Grammys before that. And so on. Christina and Mary’s performances were the only thing that kept me awake through it last year. I’m not even gonna watch this year. I already know nothing exciting is gonna happen.

  • TCool

    The WGA claimed that that they gave the NAACP Image awards a pass due to their history of fighting for civil rights, as opposed to admitting that they were afraid of pissing off black people. Good on the Grammy producers for getting some backup from AFTRA and pointing out their history of fighting for union and artist rights. Wonder what excuse the WGA will come up with to not give them one?

  • Nick

    I normally don’t watch the Grammy’s. But, I need an award show fix! Hopefully, this and all the other drama will be resolved sooner than later.

  • J

    Stay on STRIKE WGA! We don’t need the Grammy Award show anyways. Keep convincing Americans not to watch television, so that networks realize how totally replaceable that you are.

  • Greg

    WGA sucks. All they do is negotiating. Why do they even strike? Looks more like a publicity stunt. Their cause is completely forgotten now because they proved to be good negotiators (Letterman, CBS).

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