Producers of the
Grammy Awards have requested an interim agreement that
would allow striking Hollywood writers to work on next
month's telecast, the Recording Academy said Tuesday.
Writers Guild of
America spokesman Gregg Mitchell said the request was
referred to the board of the union's West Coast branch for a
decision. He said earlier in the day, however, that a
deal ''is unlikely to be granted.'' The situation
raised question about the fate of the February 10
Grammys ceremony, set for live broadcast by CBS.
The writers guild
refused to grant a waiver for last weekend's Golden
Globe Awards and threatened to picket that event. Actors
were advised by their union to stay away from the
ceremony, prompting Globes organizers to replace the
normally glitzy telecast with a scaled-down news
conference lacking stars, glamour, and ad revenue.
Academy Awards could face the same fate.
Academy said it remained hopeful that there would be a
quick and positive response to its request involving the
50th annual Grammy Awards show.
''We will take
whatever action is necessary to ensure that a program so
vital to our industry, artists, charitable beneficiaries,
and the great city of Los Angeles is held as
planned,'' said the statement by Neil Portnow,
president and chief executive of the Recording Academy,
which owns all rights to the Grammy telecast but does
not produce the show.
The academy said
it supports efforts by Cossette Productions, which
produces the Grammys, to reach an interim agreement with
writers such as the one previously made with Worldwide
Pants, which makes David Letterman's late-night show.
Earlier in the
day, the guild said it would allow its members to work on
the NAACP Image Awards and would not picket the February 14
show at the Shrine Auditorium. The awards presented by
the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People honor those who promote diversity in
the arts. Awards in 44 categories, including movies, TV, and
literature, will be presented in the ceremony
broadcast live on Fox.
''Because of the
historic role the NAACP has played in struggles like
ours, we think this decision is appropriate to jointly
achieve our goals,'' guild leader Patric Verrone said
at a news conference.
The writers guild
said it had not yet decided whether to picket the
upcoming Grammys ceremony.
Guild spokeswoman Pamela Greenwalt said her union's members
''have been unwilling to cross a picket line and we
anticipate that solidarity will continue.''
In a joint
statement, the American Federation of Musicians and American
Federation of Television and Radio Artists stressed that
events surrounding the telecast of the Grammys help
fund educational, charitable, and advocacy activities
of the Recording Academy.
urged members to participate in Grammy events but also
''express support for our ongoing efforts to ensure that
musical artists and creative talent receive fair
compensation for their work in digital media.''
Members were also encouraged to show support for writers.
Federation of Musicians represents performers at the Grammys
as well as many of the recording artists honored. Other
participants are members of the American Federation of
Television and Radio Artists.
In a separate
development, production and distribution company Spyglass
Entertainment reached an interim deal with the writers guild
allowing Spyglass to resume production, company
co-chairman Gary Barber said.
Barber would not
disclose further details. Mitchell, who represents the
guild, said he could not confirm the agreement.
The writers guild
previously struck deals with Worldwide Pants, United
Artists, the Weinstein Company, and independent studio Media
major studios said they had canceled dozens of writers'
contracts in a possible concession that the current
television season cannot be saved, the Los Angeles
The deals were
terminated by 20th Century Fox Television, CBS Paramount
Network Television, NBC Universal, and Warner Bros. (AP)