Actors’ Equity President Kate Shindle Says “Too Soon” To Predict WGA Strike Impact On Tony Awards

Just hours after members of Actors’ Equity Association joined the striking WGA picket lines outside of HBO and Amazon’s New York City offices today, Kate Shindle, Equity president, suggested in a statement to Deadline that the strike’s impact on the upcoming Tony Awards is yet to be determined.

“Equity stands unequivocally with the Writers Guild of America in their pursuit of a fair contract,” said Shindle. “The AMPTP needs to get back to the table with a serious offer that reflects the essential contributions of writers, showrunners and others to this multibillion-dollar industry.

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She continued, “It’s too soon to predict whether this will impact the Tony Awards, which are extremely important to our community as we continue to rebuild. I hope that anyone and everyone who is concerned about Broadway’s biggest night of the year will pledge support for the WGA and join us in demanding that the AMPTP give their workers as much consideration as they devote to executives and shareholders.”

As Deadline wrote last week, this year’s Tony nominations were announced on May 2, the very same day the WGA went on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The latter organization includes, among its members, Paramount Global, owner of CBS and Paramount+, broadcast and streaming homes of the Tonys.

At the strike today, Equity’s executive director Alvin Vincent Jr., told Deadline that he and other Equity members were marching to demonstrate “solidarity with WGA as well as as the other sibling unions.” 

The WGA strike’s impact on the Tonys comes from at least two angles: WGA members traditionally write the broadcast ceremony, and, secondly, members of Actors’ Equity – including stage managers as well as performers – would be faced with the prospect of a crossing any potential picket lines that they had joined just weeks earlier.

As of today, the Tonys are set to take place at the United Palace in New York City’s Washington Heights on Sunday, June 11, airing live on CBS and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+ from 8-11 PM ET/5-8 PM PT).

The organizations behind the Tonys – The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League and exec producers White Cherry Entertainment – have not disclosed what contingency plans, if any, are in place. One possible route would be a waiver from the WGA that would allow its writers to participate in, as Shindle put it, Broadway’s biggest night of the year.

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