The 71st annual Writers Guild Awards are being handed out tonight in simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York. Deadline will be liveblogging the action here and updating the winners here as they are announced. Click on the link below for the full list of nominees.
Along with the hardware being handed out for best screenwriting of 2018, the big topic is the WGA’s ongoing tussle with the Association of Talents Agents. We’ll keep you posted on any mention of that tonight.
Up for the marquee Original Screenplay award are Green Book, Roma and Vice –– all of which also are vying for the Oscar next week — along with Eighth Grade and A Quiet Place. (The Academy’s list also includes The Favourite and First Reformed.) Whangling for the also-prestigious Adapted Screenplay trophy are BlacKkKlansman, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Star is Born and Black Panther. All of those except Black Panther also are up for the Oscar, with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs rounding out the Academy’s nominees.
There were a few rules tweaks on the TV side this year. You can read about them here.
Deadline’s Dade Hayes is reporting from the New York ceremony tonight, and Antonia Blyth and Matt Grobar are on the scene in Los Angeles. Erik Pedersen is at the editors desk. Thanks for following our live blog, and be sure to play along at home by posting in the comments below.
Here’s how we are seeing the action tonight.
Antonia and I are here on the ground in LA, and the show starts…right now.
Welcome to Deadline’s live blog of the 71st annual Writers Guild Awards.
We begin with a retro game of “fun facts” and organ music you might get at a Dodger game
1 minute till showtime!
Unmemorable quotes from classic films: “Have you seen my glasses?” – Midnight Cowboy
And here we go! Show is up….Morgan Freeman voice double intro’ing us?
The Daily Show‘s Roy Wood Jr. is hosting the festivities from the Edison Ballroom in Manhattan, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine veteran Chelsea Pereti emceeing from the Writers Guild Theater, Beverly Hills
Here our host comes – it’s Chelsea Peretti of Brooklyn Nine Nine
Peretti: “Ok guys, lunch is here! Lunch is here! Just trying to get every writer’s attention”
“This is a great warm-up for an even bigger award show I’m hosting next week, the Line Producer Extravaganza”
Peretti: “Sorry in advance if my jokes aren’t hitting. I couldn’t afford union so I hired a couple of guys under the table…” Groaner
“How many of you went to Harvard? Get up!” Weird energy in the room so far tonight
“I’m not supposed to talk about the agent thing but logistical question, am I supposed to fire all my agents?”
“I truly believe at a time when our world is deeply fractured our writers have a grave responsibility to give ourselves awards.”
Can we get a count of how many writers in attendance brought their agents as their plus-one?
“Everyone loves ‘Marvelous Mrs. Weasel.'”
Peretti: “It’s kind of weird that the lead isn’t Jewish. Was Natalie Portman not available? No, of course she wasn’t. But it was so brave to set a comedy in an era when comedy wasn’t funny.”
Among tonight’s honorees on the WGA West side are Vice‘s Adam McKay (Paul Selvin Award) and the veteran team of Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel (Laurel Award).
Peretti: “Bradley [Cooper], if you win, there’s no way I’m not collapsing on the stairs like, ‘Did he win???'”
WGAE is honoring Tom Fontana with Ian McLellan Hunter Award tonight.
Really roasting Cooper so far. “There could be 100 remakes of A Star Is Born in the room, and Bradley will still think he’s the only person who’s thought about it.”
“Adam McKay made Stepbrothers and Vice. What’s the through line?”
Peretti: “Isn’t it crazy that my one-year-old child is physically stronger than anyone in this room? Isn’t it so weird how in sports, the word team means ‘a diverse collection of athletes,’ whereas in writing it means ‘two white guys’?”
Peretti: “Ok guys, we’re going to pass around the Tender Greens menu for breakfast tomorrow.”
Peretti: “Thanks you guys, you look great. Most of you…some of you. Enjoy the show.”
“Tonight there will be two FBI agents” who will escort long-winded winners off stage…while spying on a room full of liberals. While “Another One Bites the Dust” is played on the violin.
Peretti: “Either that will happen, or your next project will be directed by Bryan Singer.”
Jane Lynch out to present
Still a holding pattern at New York’s Edison Ballroom. Lots of camera flashes on the red carpet earlier for the likes of John Krasinski and Emily Blount.
Lynch presenting Outstanding Episode of Drama
WINNER – EPISODIC DRAMA
“Paean To The People” (Homeland), Written by Alex Gansa; Showtime
The Homeland team isn’t present. Lynch accepts on their behalf
Please welcome Sarah Silverman!
Took her a while to get out on stage
“Oh my god, I fucked up. I was like, ‘We have time!’ How about that Chelsea Peretti? She went hard, and I think we all appreciate it.”
WINNER – ANIMATION
“Bart’s Not Dead” (The Simpsons), Written by Stephanie Gillis; Fox
Stephanie Gillis: “Thank you so much! I have to say, this is exactly how I imagined prom would be. Everybody’s so smart and funny.”
Bart’s not dead indeed. Fox just renewed The Simpsons for Season 31 AND 32.
The Simpsons was nominated twice in the animation category tonight; the other nominee was writer Ryan Koh for “Krusty the Clown”
Gillis: “This is the part of the night where I’m supposed to thank my agent. Fuck em! I want to thank somebody more important and that’s the guild. Because the guild stands up for us as writers. So thank you, guild. Thank you for the best damn health insurance a girl could ever dream of.”
First heated ATA comment of the night
Bizarre clip reel for daytime drama category, all involving barbies. I presume because there are only two series in competition. Those being Days of Our Lives and General Hospital
WINNER – DAYTIME DRAMA
General Hospital, Head Writers: Shelly Altman, Christopher Van Etten; Writers: Barbara Bloom, Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Donny Sheldon, Scott Sickles; ABC
“Thanks to the guild. It’s so great that you continue to support Daytime. It’s very appreciated.”
Still haven’t started here in New York … but everyone is enjoying hearing about goings-on in LA! (Technology: the enemy of the dual-coast guild award scheme.)
Now a video package featuring Harlan Ellison, sticking up for his right to be paid. Not to write as “freebies.” “They always want the writer to work for nothing. And they don’t even send you the DVD!”
This was a remembrance for Mr. Ellison who passed away last year
From Veep, presenter Tony Hale
“Hello, I think it’s time for some honesty. I know after slaving on [a script] for years, the last thing you want is an actor’s feedback. But you try to hide it.”
Harlan Ellison died in June. Here is Deadline’s obituary:
Fun awards-season trivia fact (pointed out to those of us at the press table by my friend, Thom Geier) — the Academy Awards used to have bi-coastal ceremonies. The first year in NYC was 1953, at the NBC International Theater, on Columbus Circle real estate where Time Warner Center now stands.
And here are reactions to Ellison’s death from friends, colleagues and fans:
WINNER – Episodic Comedy
Barry continues its streak, following last year’s Emmys where creator and str Bill Hader was recognized
An announcer just came on the PA here in NY to note that the WGA Awards are a “spoiler-free zone,” and urging everyone to refrain from texting, emailing or posting results on social media. Gosh, hope no one is sneaking a peek at Deadline during the show …
Berg and Hader can’t decide which of them should speak. Berg: “This is how we wrote [the show] and it took 19 months.”
Excitingly, Barry will be back in March, which was just recently announced.
Hader: “Hi Ron! Ron Howard’s right there. You’re great, man!”
Hader is star-struck
Hader thanks HBO for “throwing money” at a concept as out-of-the-box as Barry’s
He must have been a fan of the original Gone in 60 Seconds. Or maybe Eat My Dust.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Head Writer: Stephen A. Melcher, Jr.; Writers: Kyle Beakley, Tom Cohen, Patricia A. Cotter, Ryan Hopak, Gary Lucy, James Rowley, Ann Slichter, Dylan Snowden; Disney/ABC Syndication
The “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” writers also win for strangest awards package. A slideshow of old-timey carnival folk presented, one for each writer.
Finally getting started here in NYC. Host Roy Wood Jr. takes the stage.
Peretti is back: “Is Jordan here? My husband, Jordan Peele? Stand up. I knew he would be here to support me on my big night. Jordan?! I’m getting worried you’re not here, baby.”
What a fake-out
Wood: “I came as a package with the caterer and the DJ. We have the same agent. Don’t you love packaging?”
Awkward transition to video package of those who couldn’t attend, but wanted to be part of festivities – Someone is doing an attempt at the Notorious RBG’s voice. She’s planning more big Hollywood projects, apparently.
“Oh, PT Anderson’s calling me, see you soon!”
Presenting: GLOW’s Alison Brie
Brie is out to present the Paddy Chayefsky prize to Jenji Kohan
Her GLOW showrunner is “opinionated, but with sprawling empathy, a serious person wearing a fanny pack—someone who is a bundle of contradictions and has also rendered her characters as such
Wood jabs Netflix. “At the end of the day, Netflix connects storytellers with who knows how many people. Seriously, who knows? They’re not telling anyone.”
Brie: “Jenji never withholds praise for good work. She’s listening more often than telling you where to go or how to be. With her inclusive body of work, she’s changed [lives]. She has certainly changed mine.”
Wood getting applause for a long riff about tech giants. “Amazon didn’t just cancel new shows. They canceled Long Island City.”
Honoree – WGAW’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement
Jenji Kohan (Creator, Weeds, Orange is the New Black; EP, GLOW)
Unfortunately Kohan couldn’t be in the room but sent a video room. “Thank you Alison Brie for all the nice things I can’t hear you saying. I want to say I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there in person but sadly due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn’t want to. I’m a writer, not a performer, which means that I have many things to say, but prefer other people to say them.”
Kohan is also at work on the final season of Orange is the New Black
Kohan: “I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with enormously funny and kind people. I love the people I work with. Life is too short to work with assholes, by the way. That’s my Public Service Announcement.”
Roy Wood Jr. saluting “A Quiet Place,” a nominee tonight. He notes that a sequel has been green-lit. “But if you really want a challenge, try casting Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish in the sequel and see how long they can stay quiet. … It will be up for next year’s WGA Awards, for best short.”
Kohan speaks to her favorite quote from Chayefsky, talking about approaching writing as “work” rather than a mere passion. The series creator also has taco truck recommendations for those here at the Beverly Hilton who could use a meal after the show.
Tig Notaro presenting in LA
Having trouble with the teleprompter…Also, confusing category name. “Internet shows that are about 15 minutes or less. That’s about twice as long as Seeso lasted…This is all coming from my heart and soul…I forgot my glasses..”
WINNER – SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA ORIGINAL
Class of Lies, Written by Tessa Leigh Williams; Snapchat
Tessa Leigh Williams: “Oh my god. Thank you so much! Thank you to the WGA, to MakeReady, to my sister, who I got to make this with, which made it extra special.”
Notaro: “The next category…it’s a favorite of mine, this category. It’s children’s episodic and specials. My two year olds—I do have twins—mostly watch a YouTube video called ‘Seven Hours of Garbage Trucks,’ which I was disappointed to find out was not nominated this year.”
Stephanie Willis, who won the Animation trophy for The Simpsons earlier, thanked people from the podium but had a very special message for her agent. Check it out at the 1:17 mark below.
And here is Bill Hader’s acceptance speech for Barry:
Mj Rodriguez of Pose presents General Hospital with the Best Daytime Drama award. And we are off and running.
Wow. Lemony Snicket himself!
A Series of Unfortunate Events was nominated twice in this category tonight.
“Despite appearances, we are not imposter cater waiters. We are the writing staff of A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
Freeman voice double : “Please welcome America’s sad clown, Puddles Pity Party…” A clown in white makeup comes out singing a ditty to the tune of “Shallow”, but dedicated to this year’s feature nominees.
Presenter Michael Moore here in NY: “It is Day 3 of our national emergency. How is everybody holding up?”
“I loved Black Panther, the King of Wakanda, the same dude who played James Brown….I hated eighth grade, the year not the movie, the bullies would push me down. Mahershala, Mahersha-la-la, Mahershala Aliiii….”
Now the melody transfers over to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as ‘A Star is Born’ gets its own parody.
“You were on Netflix, didn’t ever have to leave my house at all. Thank Cuaron! Thank Cuaron! The whole thing was in Spanish….”
“Beale Street everybody. I’ve got to goooo. But according to Google Maps, you don’t exist. Hope you liked this song, but it wasn’t really free. Your union duos were sent, were spent on meeeeeee…”
But who is the clown?
Always the oddest of the shows leading up to Oscars. Lots of mischief and mayhem.
“We live in an era right now of relentless forgetting, where each new scandal eats the memory of the last one…The problem is that a society needs its memory. It needs to grapple relentlessly, honestly with its past, and film is one of the most vital ways we do that. And into that void comes Adam McKay…Vice forces the viewer to remember the vastness of the human misery caused by our collective government just a few generations ago…”
HONOREE – WGAW’S PAUL SELVIN AWARD
Adam McKay, Vice
Moore announces the award for Documentary Script – Current Events to Trump’s Takeover from PBS Frontline. The theme song is playing as Moore vamps for an awkward minute and a half before finally confirming that the recipients (Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser) are not present to accept in person.
This happy fellow, perhaps?
Looking great, @PuddlesPityP!
Nonspeaking Singing #Clown #PuddlesPityParty returns as a #presenter for the 2nd year in a row to the @WGAWest Awards Show at The @BeverlyHilton.#WritersGuildAwards #WGAAwards2019 #WGAAwards #WGA #BeverlyHilton #AdoptDontShop #Writers #Art #Love pic.twitter.com/BEqD0kQt4p
— Geri Mars (@GeriMars) February 18, 2019
McKay: (Walks up to “I want to live in Americaaa” from West Side Story) Thank you to Chris Hayes, that was amazing. This guy, day in and day out, is working on this show which is not a lot of fun to help us understand this behemoth we call American democracy. Hearing him talk about Vice, we should pay a moment of recognition to the buried…the [millions] that died from the United States invading Iraq.”
McKay: “It’s not each and everyone of our fault’s. Many of us said it was wrong, but it happened.”
Matt — is McKay talking about Dick Cheney’s vice presidency overall or what?
Re: “It’s not each and everyone of our fault’s. Many of us said it was wrong, but it happened.”
McKay: “Every moment of making this film, we felt this responsibility on top of us that this was a story we were about to sweep under the carpet to move on to what an orange goon Trump is. And don’t get me wrong, he is an orange goon…Honestly, I feel so proud to be part of the Writers Guild right now, I really do. And the work Paul Selvin did for freedom of speech, and for us to have healthcare. Because that’s the good part of America.”
Moore makes a wan Oscar-controversy joke about winners for Documentary – Other Than Current Events being shown on a monitor next to the coat check before the end of the night. He seems to be very much at risk of losing the crowd but then saves it by doing an improvised song to the theme for American Experience..
McKay also thanks journalists who “speak out everyday,” touching on stat that the USA is now the “fifth most dangerous country” for a journalist to be in.
The director thanks all the journalists who were a part of making this film.
He talks smack against his composer Nicholas Britell: “He’s not a nice person,” he says, but he does great work.
From new film Corporate Animals, Ed Helms out to present
In NY, Michelle Ferrari, writer of The Eugenics Crusade, winner for Documentary – Other Than Current Events, dryly begins her speech with, “I don’t know how much you know about eugenics, but it doesn’t make for feel-good television.”
Helms: “I thought I was winning something…Is that?”
WINNER – COMEDY SERIES
The award for shortest speech also goes to the ‘Maisel’ team
Peretti: “Fake news alert – I’m having a blast!”
And now, a speech from WGAW President David A. Goodman.
Goodman is discussing a guild member concerned that the “white male” has been abandoned by Hollywood.
“There has been a change in the perception of the role of our union” which Goodman says started with the Weinstein scandal. The Guild is working harder now to provide help, justice, relief etc. The effort needs to be there, he says, whatever the guild’s power may or may not be to right major wrongs
When it comes to representation, etc. This year for the first time, he says, the WGA’s Board of Directors comprises 50% women
“As a union, we can aspire to more.”
For those who want change, they can either leave it to him, or run against him in future WGA elections. “I am very beatable,” Goodman says. He previously ran unopposed
Another In Memoriam segment for Steven Bochco
Who would often go to the mat with the network to protect a writer’s vision, whether that be to do with foul language or what have you.
NY HONOREE – Randall Jansta, Richard B. Jablow Award
Freeman voice double welcomes Billy Eichner
“From Green Book to Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s been an amazing year to cut the gay scenes. Who knew [a year ago] there would be more gay sex in a movie about Queen Anne than Freddie Mercury? That’s progress, I guess?”
Noah Emmerich, one of many from The Americans here in NY tonight in the FX show’s final awards moment, presenting News Script — Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, or Breaking Report.
Winner for News Script — Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, or Breaking Report: “Catastrophe” (60 Minutes)
Bathtubs Over Broadway
Written by Ozzy Inguanzo & Dava Whisenant; Focus Features
Inguanzo: “Ron Howard! [Laughs] This is such an honor. Thank you to the WGA, the team over at Blumhouse. Also to our boyfriends and families for their unwavering support.”
Jamie-Lynn Sigler introduces the Fox exec who passed on ‘The Sopranos’—he’s walking around filling other people’s water glasses
WINNER – News Analysis Feature or Commentary: “Wounds of War” (60 Minutes)
Ok…odd one-off bit?
From BlacKkKlansman, Topher Grace
“It’s a tricky political climate that we live in today, and there are some unfortunate pictures of me out there so I think I’ll just make this announcement here…I wore a KKK robe in the film BlacKkKlansman. I hope that you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me. It’s time for healing to begin.”
Written by Bo Burnham; A24
Wow. Beating out Alfonso Cuaron for Roma. Quite an achievement.
Bullets OVer Broadway acceptance speech:
Jimmy Fallon, one of the NY ceremony’s A-list presenters, takes the stage to present Comedy/Variety – Sketch Series
Burnham: “Thank you very much. To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers! [Laughs] No, I prepared nothing. This all belongs to Elsie Fisher who performed the script. No one would care about the script if she hadn’t done it. I joined the guild when I was 18 and my mother did the paperwork, so thank you for that—and my father who did nothing. I believe in love. Thank you A24.”
Now, presenter Sebastian Meniscalco
WINNER – Comedy/Variety – Sketch Series: Nathan For You
“So, um…My name is Sebastian Meniscalco and I’m here tonight to present the award for video game writing. Right? Now, I had no idea there was even an award for video game writing. But what I do know is we have grown men in this country, in their underwear in their basement, playing Fortnite with another guy in New Zealand. I mean, they’re passing up making love with their wives…”
“No disrespect to the nominees…”
Michael Koman, accepting the Comedy/Variety – Sketch Series award on behalf of Nathan for You, notes that he was also nominated in the same category for Saturday Night Live and says, “It means so much to me … that they’re going to have to walk by my office. Guys, it’s not going to be fun for you.”
WINNER – VIDEOGAME WRITING
Written by Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog; Story and Narrative Design Lead Matt Sophos; Story and Narrative Design Richard Zangrande Gaubert; Narrative Design Orion Walker, Adam Dolin; Sony Interactive Entertainment
A commenter on the blog just wrote this, for what it’s worth:
Literally no one I know has seen this Maisel show. Not one.
“This is so weird. We had an animator who looked like Ron Howard, and we always called him the ‘Fake Ron Howard.'” And now, here these video game writers are, celebrating “an incredibly strong year for story-driven games.”
Accepting the Comedy Series award on behalf of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amy Sherman-Palladino says, “People who don’t say it doesn’t start with the script are full of s–t.”
I think this is the first “Another One Bites the Dust” play-off of the night…And the videogame scribes are off
Larry Wilmore, out to present our next category in LA
“It’s an honor to be here at the whitest guild awards…I mean, the writers’ guild…”
He’s here tonight to honor Joan Meyerson, who this year was named the WGA’s Morgan Cox Award honoree
“It is a rare thing when somebody so dedicated to her career finds [time] to also give of herself so fully.”
Honoree – Morgan Cox Award for Guild Service
HONOREE: Franklin Leonard (creator of The Black List), the Evelyn F. Burkey Award
Meyerson: “I can’t believe I’m up here. It is such an honor, and there are so many thanks to give. But first, Larry…He co-created the show Insecure which proves beyond a doubt that he understands women.”
Meyerson remembers going to her first WGA meeting in this room at the Hilton in 1973, with Mel Brooks rallying writers at the time
Meyerson is proud to work for a Board and a Guild that “represents all of us.”
“Morgan [Cox] knew that for writers to have power, he had to get them all into the guild.” – Writers of all different backgrounds
From ABC’s Speechless, Cedric Yarbrough
Yarbrough: “A lot of you probably don’t know this, but I got my start in theater and sketch comedy.” – Oh boy…he’s doing an impression. It’s of Cosby but it quickly ends. “Ok, that’s inappropriate. He’s in jail.” His next is of R Kelly….These haven’t aged well
For the record: Eighth Grade is the first film to win Original Screenplay but not be up for the Oscar since Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine in 2003.
Now he’s trying his hand at Trump – “Ok, that motherf*cker is going to jail.”
Writers from Nathan For You taking the stage in LA to accept award for
Fielder: “Oh my god. We lose every year to Saturday Night Live so I didn’t prepare anything…” Awkward silence. “Ron Howard…”
Fielder genuinely wasn’t expecting to win this one.
The Fake News with Ted Nelms, Written by John Aboud, Andrew Blitz, Michael Colton, Ed Helms, Elliott Kalan, Joseph Randazzo, Sara Schaefer; Comedy Central
Yarbrough: “Did Ed Helms leave already? No, he’s here.”
“Fellow workers, it means a lot that we can get together at an event like this. I’d like to thank the continued disillusion in this country which has forced satire writers to try to [deal with it].” – Elliott Kalan
Helms: “This show probably slipped under your radar like it did most people’s. It aired when the world was [going crazy]” and then fortunately, people caught up with it. The recognition from his peers is the “coolest damn thing.”
“And now, by popular demand, Ron Howard.”
He’s flattered by all the attention tonight.
“This is the WGA. You get Ron Howard,” in comparison to names like Jack Nicholson or Meryl Streep.
“Earnestness just f*cking flows out of me” — Ron Howard
By the way, Howard is on stage celebrating screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, known for such boffo hits as Splash and Parenthood
Howard recalls getting the green light for his first ever film, Night Shift, starring Henry Winkler. Written by Lowell and Babaloo.
“They were nominated for an Oscar. They made Hollywood’s most powerful lists. But they just wanted to write, and write some more.”
Winner:Radio/Audio Documentary, “RFK: 50 Years After Shots Rang Out at the Ambassador Hotel,” Andrew Evans, ABC News Radio
Ladies and gentlement, Ed Halms:
Winner – Radio/Audio News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report: “Remembering the Good, the Bad and the Brilliant” (Gail Lee, CBS News Radio)
Adam McKay back writers in negotiations with talent agents:
Winner – Radio/Audio News Script – Analysis, Feature or Commentary, “John McCain: A Life of Service” (Gail Lee, CBS News Radio)
CBS News Radio’s Gail Lee, helping the cause of tighter/brighter award shows, returns to the stage for her second win. “What I said two minutes ago,” she says. Best acceptance speech since Joe Pesci?
HONOREES – 2019 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achivement
“We didn’t think we were going to win because they sat us at you know, that oversized donut in Inglewood?” Babaloo Mandel says on stage. “I wanted to be a screenwriter and move to the valley,” he says of his childhood, raising a laugh.
“We decided we were going to put a mermaid child in every movie we wrote,” Mandel jokes after the success of 1984’s Splash. “But we soon realized we were under the influence of all that coke people snorted.” Cue slightly shocked silence and some giggles.
“My first writing partner and I got hired on a fluke to write on The Honeymooners. We were in heaven; our most fantastic dreams had literally come true. Six weeks later, we were fired. You can laugh. I like to say about that that it was an unfortunate [collision] of office politics and the fact that we were no good.”— Lowell Ganz
Winner – Digital News, “Inside the Culture of Sexism at Riot Games” (Cecilia D’Anastasio, Kotaku.com)
“One afternoon Garry Marshall, god bless him, came up to us and said I think maybe you guys are’t doing so well. We chose not to disagree with him,” Ganz says of being offered the chance to pitch by Marshall. “We stole an idea from The Honeymooners. That’s some advice for you kids.”
Ganz sweetly sings the praises of his wife: “The truth is, nothing I could say would be too much.”
Apparently Congressman Ted Lieu is in the house?
David Koechner resents Adam McKay for picking Christian Bale to play Dick Cheney instead of him. “He’s not an American. Does he have papers?”
“What’s with the special award McKay got earlier? You got Chris Hayes to give it to you, did ya?”
Honoree — Ariella Carmell, Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting
“Adam I think it’s time you came back to your roots,” Koechner says. “Adam started as an improvisor…I’ll put you on an improv team.” McKay is laughing at least.
Castle Rock, Writers: Marc Bernardin, Scott Brown, Lila Byock, Mark Lafferty, Sam Shaw, Dustin Thomason, Gina Welch, Vinnie Wilhelm; Hulu
“We’re especially proud to be a part of this union, especially now guys!”
Winner – Long Form Adapted, The Assassination of Gianni Versace
Julianna Margulies takes the stage to hearty applause, presenting Tom Fontana with the Ian McLellan Hunter Award.
“As we all know, it takes a village,” Maggie Cohn says. “I do truly believe that the pen can be mightier than the sword, but that strength is not inherent. We must imbue the pen with that power.”
From SNL, Sasheer Zamata presenting
“Can you believe this is not the end? There’s still more show! Ron Howard left…” They cut to Howard’s empty seat.
Zamata is loving the melodrama in these descriptions
“Tribute to Star Trek for the 2019 Creative Arts Emmys,” Written by Sean Brogan; CBS
Brogan jogs all the way to the stage from wwwaaaaayyyy back
“Thanks to the guild for this award and for having this category….thanks to our work family at CBS.”
Thank you to “Another One Bites the Dust” for keeping these speeches short. We still have 4 pages worth of winners to get through.
Whoever wrote this program likely features among the list of nominees. Quite an achievement
Tonight, we have another big honoree in Agnès Varda
Honoree – Jean Renoir Award
She recorded a video for the room
Her son is in the room, though she couldn’t make it
Varda has written 44 films. She can’t be here tonight so we see a video clip of her acceptance. “Hello!” Varga says cheerfully on screen. “Jean was a wonderful filmmaker and I remember meeting him in Los Angeles….I am proud to receive an award with his name. Goodnight!”
That would be Mathieu Demy, who just stopped by the stage briefly.
Peretti is back on stage in a Beverly Hilton robe, talking about dicks for some reason
You mean the kind of people who steal hotel robes?
“I will say this, my fellow women in the audience, you all look stunning tonight. I know all of you often write in offices with no dress code, but you all showed up tonight looking fancy. To the men: 3/4 of you look like shit. Here’s a tip from a woman who likes men – Either grow a beard or don’t. Make a f*cking choice.”
“To whomever wrote the telepromter, my show’s called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, not My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Thank you to my Union for having respect for what I do!” She seems genuinely mad. “We are two and-a half hours into the show, but I am too drunk to write more jokes,” she goes on. “You guys don’t know this but I am pulling a Star is Born and pissing myself under this gown right now.”
Bloom is discussing the fact that songwriters are not recognized by the Writers Guild, an error she hopes will be corrected in the future.
She’s generally unhappy right now. “Songwriters should be in the Writers’ Guild. Anyway…”
Castle Rock’s turn at the podium:
Still winning awards, with their swan-song season gone. But they couldn’t make it here tonight.
From Fighting with My Family, director Stephen Merchant
Merchant crouches down at the mic. “I’m a director now so I have to be dignified at all times,” he says. He then suggests an idea for a new show. “It’s about a bald detective who sucks lollipops. I’ll leave it with you.”
It’s been a strong night for the writers of Barry
Berg: “My wife of 19 years pointed out that the last time I was up here, I didn’t thank my wife of 19 years. She pointed that out.”
Hader: “Ron Howard’s back! Motherf*cker!”
“I want to thank you too Michelle for putting up with Alec”
Ron Howard waves his arms in the air. Poor guy was probably just on a bathroom break
From It’s Always Sunny, presenter Charlie Day.
“Thank you for the smattering of applause. I just got finished parking cars.”
“Oh you guys know it, I wasn’t sure if you know it. It never seems to end up on any of your ballots” Day jokes of his show It’s Always Sunny.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Writers: Tim Carvell, Raquel D’Apice, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Jeff Maurer, Daniel O’Brien, John Oliver, Brian Parise, Owen Parsons, Ben Silva, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Seena Vali, Juli Weiner; HBO
Day accepts on the writers’ behalf, “which means I finally won an award.”
Peretti is presenting the last category of the evening. Hard to know if she’s kidding. But I think it’s real.
“These nominees are the only people who haven’t ordered their uber yet.”
Castle Rock’s turn at the podium:
WINNER – ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Based on the book by Lee Israel; Fox Searchlight
For Deadline’s interview with the scribes from last month, click here.
Of course sound isn’t working for last speech of the night.
“I loved working on this movie, Holofcener says. “It’s been a very long road.”
That’s basically all I can hear since sound has cut out
“Chelsea, Jordan is here” Whitty says, harkening back to Peretti’s wondering where Jordan Peele is tonight. “I was sexually pleasured by him in room 118. He’ll be done when the afterglow is finished. Thank you very much.”
And that’s a wrap folks!
That’s a wrap from L.A., but they are buring the near-11 p.m. oil back East, and we’ll keep you posted on events as they unfold there.
Kenan Thompson presents the last award, for Quiz and Audience Participation. Gotta hand it to the writers for their counter-intuitive strategy — they put this award after Drama, Comedy and the big honoree tribute.
Kenan Thompson is the last presenter in New York — just announced :Last Week Tonight as the winner for Best Comedy/Variety – Talk
It’s feeling like a long slog to the finish line at the Edison Ballroom.
Update: Kenan Thompson SAID he was the last presenter of the night, but Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight) is now presenting adapted screenplay.
Marielle Heller, director of Can You Ever Forgive Me?, accepts Adapted Screenplay award on behalf of Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty.
Host Roy Wood Jr. takes the stage and notes the official running time of tonight’s show: 3 hours 6 minutes. “I want you to remember how you feel right now … when you’re tempted to add one more scene. Cut that s–t.”
Here is tonight’s complete list of winners:
That’s a wrap for Deadline’s live blog of the 71st annual Writers Guild Awards. Thanks for following, and we’ll see you for the Oscars in a week. Good night.