Update, 8:48 p.m., 5/5/23: MTV has now confirmed (per Variety) that the MTV Movie And TV Awards will now be entirely pre-taped, in response to plans for the WGA to picket the show. Shortly before the news was announced, Jamie Lee Curtis—set to present at the show—announced that she would no longer be participating out of solidarity, writing on social media that “@wgawest needs my support and I won’t cross their picket line.”
Original story: Labor’s hitting the red carpet this weekend, as THR reports that the Writers Guild Of America—now four days into its ongoing strike after negotiations with Hollywood studios for a new contract broke down—has announced that it’ll be attending this Sunday’s MTV Movie & TV Awards, in the form of a picket line at the annual event. This, after news already broke that the awards show was being massively impacted by the ongoing strike, as large numbers of both presenting talent and nominees—including, notably, host Drew Barrymore—announced that they were dropping out of the show in solidarity with the writers.
Now, anyone who was still planning to show up (including numerous SAG-AFTRA members on the docket, who’ve been asked by their union to support the strike in their off-hours) will have to contemplate crossing the picket line to do so. (To say nothing of the impact that it’ll have on day-of preparations for the show, shades of the chaos that broke out in New York yesterday after a picket line helped shut down production on Showtime’s Billions for several hours.) Per Deadline, MTV was already planning on switching to more of a “clip show” format for the show, because you don’t have to worry about picket lines or union solidarity or anything else with nice, non-organized clips. That could potentially include pre-recorded winners speeches, which do tend to drain a bit of spontaneity out of an event like this.
MTV is owned by Paramount, which is, obviously, one of the studios that WGA negotiations broke down with; they just happen to have been the ones unlucky enough to have a big public event happening the weekend that the strike kicked off. (Or, you know, “unlucky,” in so far as all of this could have been avoided with more consideration for writers, who find themselves facing dire economic conditions as financial compensation for streaming continues to fall far below industry standards.)