Writers would trade awards for 'real income'

Riding the coattails of the Oscar noms announcement, the Writers Guild of America East held a brief rally Tuesday as a reminder of the 12-week-old writers strike.

About 40 prize-winning scribes across all disciplines — including hyphenate Tony Gilroy, who earned Oscar noms Tuesday for directing and original screenplay for “Michael Clayton”; Tom Fontana; and Marsha Norman — plus sympathetic nonscribes like Blythe Danner and John Leguizamo gathered at the Players alongside Gramercy Park.

In a 20-minute event heavily attended by media outlets eager for another wrinkle to add to their Oscar overviews, the scribes stuck to the day’s core message, which the guild summed up as “awards are nice, but we’d rather the writers get a fair contract.”

A guild press release sent late Monday highlighted attendees’ kudo wins, down to the very last Edgar.

Fontana described the session as “a symbolic gesture to say that we’d trade all of our awards for real income for all writers.”

WGA East prexy Michael Winship said he didn’t see a conflict between Tuesday’s rally and the branch’s plan to proceed with its annual awards. The WGA West opted to skip its version.

“We give out awards for news and documentary, and many of those nominees are covered by other contracts with our union,” he pointed out.

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