Writers Strike Could Leave Event Presenters on Their Own

By Alesandra Dubin November 5, 2007, 5:24 PM EST

After unsuccessful negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the Writers Guild of America went on strike early this morning, with 12,000 picketers holding signs in both Los Angeles and New York. The last writers' strike was nearly 20 years ago, in 1988, and was estimated to have had a $500 million economic impact on the city of Los Angeles during the 22-week period, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

What does it mean for event pros? With award season on the horizon, presenters may find themselves having to ad-lib their comments or generate their own material. “People who complain about the humor on awards shows should wait to see what they’re like without writers,” said writer, performer, and Oscar contributor Bruce Vilanch, according to a New York Times report.

The Screen Actors Guild awards on January 27 is among the programs that might be affected, but reps say it's too early to tell. “We don't know how, if at all, the SAG awards will be impacted,” said SAG awards spokesperson Rosalind Jarrett.

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