Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the music industry, here comes the news that the Grammys–celebrating their 50th anniversary this year–might have quite a bit less starpower. If they happen at all! Yesterday, the Writers’ Guild Of America hinted that it will not grant a waiver for the ceremony, which means that if the writers’ strike is still going on by Feb. 10, attendees will probably have to cross a picket line before they can get into the Staples Center for the big show. The likelihood of members of the Screen Actors Guild–who are in solidarity with the writers–actually crossing that picket line is nil, and as a result, the talent pool for the show will be pretty depleted.
It’s unclear how much of an impact a WGA picket line would have, but the kudocast will have to make do without the usual 10-20 actors who usually serve as presenters. Last year, for example, Quentin Tarantino, Luke Wilson, Nicolas Cage, Terrence Howard, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Rock and David Spade appeared on the show.
This year also has a substantial number of nominated musicians who have appeared in films and on TV. Chief among them are Justin Timberlake, Queen Latifah, Tim McGraw, Beyonce, Jack White, Jon Bon Jovi, T.I. and Fantasia. Among the nominees who have historically not crossed picket lines are Bruce Springsteen, the Beastie Boys, Joni Mitchell, John Mellencamp and Steve Earle.
The strike could also affect the show’s script. For this year’s 50th anniversary edition of the Grammys, the Recording Academy would like to present a show with a number of historical packages, which would require a writing staff. Producer Ken Ehrlich and journalist David Wild, who wrote a Grammys 50th anni book, have written recent editions of the show.
Well, T.I. was sort of a given as a no-show. There have still been no performers announced for the telecast aside from the Foo Fighters, although Variety’searlier report indicated that Dave Grohl would also be unlikely to cross a picket line. I’m just hoping that whatever does happen, Billy Bush will be nowhere near a Grammy-related telecast, as watching that guy smarm his way through Sunday night’s Golden Globes press conference for even two minutes was absolutely nauseating.
Grammys strike chord with WGA [Variety]
Earlier: Will The Writer’s Strike Drain The Grammys’ Talent Pool?