This year’s Emmy Awards will be postponed due to the ongoing Hollywood strikes, US media reported on 27 July. The awards event is US television’s equivalent to the Oscars. Organisers had scheduled the event to take place on 18 September. However, according to the LA Times, it will now take place in January.
No writers, no presenters
Trade publication Variety said “vendors, producers and others involved with the event” have already been informed of the delay. A source familiar with the plans told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that organisers had not yet set a new date for the show.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) began its strike on 1 May, while the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) began its strike on 13 July. The unions’ demands are focused on dwindling pay in the streaming era as well as the threat posed by artificial intelligence (AI). It is the first industry-wide walkout in 63 years.
SAG-AFTRA and WGA members are barred from promoting their movies and series. As a result, the strikes have all but shut down US movie and television productions. Some reality and game shows have continued.
The Hollywood strikes have hit the Emmys because stars would refuse to attend the awards. Writers would also refuse to script a monologue or jokes for hosts and presenters.
Hollywood strikes for jobs and dignity
The strikes have led to some inspiring and militant speeches by high-profile actors. Actor and SAG-AFTRA head Fran Drescher condemned Hollywood for “plead[ing] poverty… when giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs”:
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When people ask me what a unionist is, I point to Fran Drescher.
Not only is she an iconic actor and household name, she is also the President of the SAG-AFTRA union.
Listen to her passionate speech as her members go on strike demanding better pay and conditions.
— Senator Tony Sheldon (@TonySheldonNSW) July 13, 2023
Yvette Nicole Brown, most famous for her role in sitcom Community, said she is striking because “everybody deserves a living wage, everybody deserves the right to make a living”:
Actor Yvette Nicole Brown is on strike because they want people to know most of the actors in screen guild live under the poverty levels pic.twitter.com/lZhuObq0cL
— livebitez (@livebitez) July 28, 2023
Hellboy actor Ron Perlman explicitly condemned industry management for making money while “creating nothing”:
Shit's getting real in the WGA + SAG strike.
"There's a lot of ways to lose your house." pic.twitter.com/XqiSZF2lbr
— Hear in LA (@hearinladotcom) July 14, 2023
And Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston addressed Disney executive Bob Iger, saying unions wouldn’t allow management to take away jobs and dignity:
Bryan Cranston delivers a rousing speech addressed to Bob Iger at a SAG-AFTRA strike rally in Times Square: "We will not allow you to take our dignity. We are union through and through all the way to the end." https://t.co/M0Cs5ahWZo pic.twitter.com/IILje2O5Fi
— Variety (@Variety) July 25, 2023
According to reports, Fox – this year’s Emmy Awards broadcaster in the United States – wanted to delay until January, giving the strikes longer to be resolved. However, the Television Academy, which votes for and hosts the awards, preferred a shorter postponement. January would put the Emmys right in the middle of Hollywood’s packed film award season.
British acting union Equity made a statement of solidarity when SAG-AFTRA went on strike, saying:
The members of our unions, and all entertainment unions across the globe, create the vast wealth within our industry – it is right and just that they have decent, modern pay and conditions.
Meanwhile, British actors held a solidarity rally in London on 21 July.
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse
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