Grammys petition urges WGA to let show go on

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The Recording Academy has asked its members to sign a petition urging the Writers Guild of America to accept an agreement that would grant a waiver for writers to work on the upcoming Grammys.

The fate of the Feb. 10 telecast is in doubt after the WGA announced that it was unlikely to grant a waiver for music’s biggest night. If a waiver is not granted, its members could picket the event, set to be broadcast live by CBS.

The online petition reads in part: ‘‘As a member of The Recording Academy, I would like to express my strong support for the Grammy Awards, and to encourage the WGA to accept the interim agreement offered by the producers of the Grammys. ... During this important 50th anniversary year, I support the Grammys and strongly urge the guild to do the same.’’

The message also refers to the academy’s charitable and educational events and the fact that it employs hundreds of union members in the annual telecast.

The link to the online petition was sent in an e-mail message Thursday from Recording Academy President Neil Portnow and producer Jimmy Jam, who’s the chairman of its board of trustees.

A WGA representative reiterated the group’s earlier decision, that no final decision had been made. A Recording Academy representative did not have an immediate comment on the petition.

The Golden Globe awards, normally a glitzy, three-hour star-studded extravaganza, was reduced to a starless news conference Sunday when the Screen Actors Guild urged their members to boycott the event. The Academy Awards may face the same predicament Feb. 24.

The Recording Academy has said it hopes an agreement can be reached, though the WGA has said that is unlikely.

On Thursday, the manager for Beyonce said the star, also a member of the actor’s guild, plans to perform at the Grammys, as do the Foo Fighters. However, neither act said whether they would cross a picket line if it came to that.

In a statement this week, Portnow said Grammy preparations remain ‘‘in full swing.’’

‘‘We will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that a program so vital to our industry, artists, charitable beneficiaries and the great city of Los Angeles is held as planned,’’ he said.


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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on January 18, 2008 4:30 PM.

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