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WGA: Oscars will be picketed; Image Awards gets waiver

As if there were any doubt, you can forget about a picket-free Oscars on Feb. 24 — unless the WGA strike is over by then.

That was the unmistakable message from WGA West president Patric Verrone at an early afternoon news conference Tuesday at WGA West headquarters. Event was being held to announce that the WGA’s granted a waiver to the NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 14.

During the Q&A, Verrone was explicit in responding to questions about whether the Oscars might also be granted a waiver.

“The WGA West board of directors has already voted to deny a waiver to the Academy if they ask for one,” he said. “The most important thing to us us to get the conglomerates back to the table.”

Pressed as to what would change the board’s decision, he responded by saying, “If we get a contract, that changes things.”

Verrone first announced the board’s stance about the Oscarcast at a Dec. 17 membership meeting. In addition to the NAACP show, the WGA’s also granted waivers to the Jan. 27 SAG Awards and the Feb. 23 Independent Spirit Awards while turning down the Golden Globes. It’s also said it will turn down the Feb. 10 Grammys if asked. 

“The Guild examines each request like this individually and no decision is easy. Our ultimate goal is to resolve this strike by achieving a good contract. Because of the historic role the NAACP has played in struggles like ours, we think this decision is appropriate to jointly achieve our goals,” Verrone said.
Verrone said members have been showing “over-riding” support for the leadership’s strategies. And he also said he expects several more interim deals to be announced later Tuesday.

Here’s the entire press release —