Actor Rainn Wilson, who plays tyrannical salesman Dwight Schrute in "The Office," will host the Spirit Awards, the art-house world's version of the Oscars, on Feb. 23. ...
The event, which takes place on Santa Monica beach the day before the Academy Awards, will go ahead with the blessing of the striking Writers Guild of America. The union granted the event a waiver to hire writers for the ceremony. Wilson, a WGA member, will contribute as a writer for the event, which will be broadcast live by the Independent Film Channel.
The WGA has also granted a waiver to the Screen Actors Guild for its awards show, but rejected requests from the organizers of both the Golden Globes and the Oscars.
The Spirit Awards waiver raises the possibility that the ceremony could upstage the Oscars if the strike is not resolved by late February. The walkout is now nearing the end of its seventh week, with no resolution in sight.
"The Spirit Awards and Film Independent have a long-standing, positive relationship with the Writers Guild," Film Independent executive director Dawn Hudson said. "We've worked over many, many years to have parity for writers as they're represented on our show."
The WGA said Film Independent, the Spirit Awards organizer, requested a waiver before the strike began on Nov. 5.
In addition to being broadcast live and unedited on IFC, the often bawdy Spirit event will be rebroadcast the same day in an edited version on AMC. If the strike is still on, the broadcasts would provide a platform for WGA supporters to state their case.
Wilson makes a cameo appearance in the pregnancy comedy "Juno," which picked up four Spirit nominations.
The Hollywood Reporter