Red carpet goes on, both sides mum on details
The red carpet is saved.Tony Awards Prods. and stagehands union Local One have reached an agreement for the red carpet portion of the Tony Awards to be handled by union workers. When it became clear earlier this week that the show’s producers intended to use non-union labor for the red carpet, the union threatened to picket, raising the possibility that actors and other celebs, many of them members of thesp union Actors Equity, would refuse to participate in the red carpet in a show of legit-union solidarity. Neither side will reveal the details of the new agreement. It’s said terms were agreed to in a phone conversation that took place overnight or early Friday morning. Dispute was prompted by the fact that for the first time, the Tonys will take place at the Beacon Theater, a significantly smaller venue than Radio City Music Hall, where the ceremony has been held in prior years. At the Beacon the red carpet is situation across the street from the theater, and not on Beacon property, and therefore not officially governed by union regulations. The producers had said in a statement that they would have preferred to employ union members for the red carpet, but it’s generally understood that with fewer seats available at the Beacon, less coin was available from ticket sales to offset production costs, including pay for union labor. The labor conflict had never seemed to jeopardize the Tony ceremony itself, only the red carpet. But, as with any awards show, those arrivals and interviews are often integral to media coverage of the overall ceremony, this year skedded for Sunday. ”The Tony Awards and Local One are very pleased that, together, we were able to reach an agreement to produce the Tony Awards red carpet on Sunday evening,” said Local One prexy James J. Claffey Jr. and Tony Awards Prods.’ Alan Williams in a joint statement. ”The fact remains that Sunday is a true celebration of the Broadway community and all of the outstanding work that has been nominated this season.” The Tonys air live on CBS in a telecast hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.