John Wells, executive producer of “The West Wing,” has given back the Family Television Award for the series after Allison Janney’s comments in support of the actors’ strike were edited out of the telecast.
” ‘The West Wing’ is not interested in an award from an organization that supports censorship of free speech,” Wells said in a statement. Wells is also president of the Writers Guild of America West.
At the end of Janney’s Aug. 3 acceptance speech for the NBC series, the actress told the audience of ad industry execs that they should move to end the strike by the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. “Don’t take away what’s rightfully theirs,” she added.
Executive producer Dick Clark subsequently assured the audience that Janney’s remark would be excised. The event was organized through the Assn. of National Advertisers, one of the orgs negotiating for the industry with SAG and AFTRA.