WGA Awards: ‘Promising Young Woman’, ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ Take Marquee Film Honors;’ ‘The Crown’, ‘Ted Lasso’ Top TV — The Complete List Of Winners

By Denise Petski, Anthony D'Alessandro, Dade Hayes

WGA Awards

It was arguably the shortest WGA Awards ceremony in history.

Hollywood writers are, natch, known for their words, so the WGA Awards ceremonies typically run long, like three or four hours, rivaling even the DGA and PGA ceremonies’ running times. A WGA Awards show is usually filled with a zinger opening from the host that rivals any Catskill comedian’s set (Brad Garrett, ever so memorable as the 2014 host), political speeches from honorees (Aaron Sorkin’s Trump bash after he received the guild’s 2017 Paddy Chayefsky award) and two- hander comical moments from presenters (Mad Men creator Matt Weiner and actress Kiernan Shipka’s banter at the 2012 ceremony comes to mind).

But the pre-taped, glib virtual ceremony for the WGA Awards ran a glib 90 minutes, and for the first time, repped one sole ceremony for the WGA West and WGA East branches. Traditionally, two separate awards ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York are held simultaneously with messy results. I.E. the WGA East announces big winners minutes in advance of WGAW’s, spoiling the evening for those on the West Coast, who often learn that they lost (or won) on their cell phones while sitting in the Beverly Hilton ballroom. None of that meshugaas this year.

The WGA Awards handed their top film honors to Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman in the Original Screenplay category and the Adapted Screenplay award to Sacha Baron Cohen and his team for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, boosting the Amazon sequel to Oscar frontrunner status.

Last year, the guild lined up with Oscar’s screenwriting prizes, awarding Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won’s Parasite in original screenplay and Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit in adapted. Both won on Oscar night. That’s a feat that doesn’t always occur as the WGA only recognizes those nominees who are guild members, i.e. last year the guild overlooked Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in the original screenplay category as the filmmaker isn’t a WGA member. AMPAS, however, did give Tarantino’s screenplay a nod.

The documentary screenplay award went to Mark Monroe and Bryan Fogel for The Dissident.

On the TV side, Netflix’s The Crown scribes took the drama series award, beating out Better Call Saul, which led all shows five nominations, along with Ozark, The Mandalorian and The Boys; and Ted Lasso landed two in the comedy categories, for comedy series, besting fellow nominees The Great, Curb Your Enthusiasm and PEN15.

Desus & Mero took the award for Comedy/Variety Talk Series, beating last year’s winner Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, as well as Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

At Home with Amy Sedaris
took the nod for Comedy/Variety Sketch Series and Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand took the award for Comedy/Variety Special.

The now-defunct Quibi snagged the award in the shortform category for #FreeRayshawn. Bojack Horseman took the nod for Animation, facing off against The Simpsons, which landed four of the six nominations, and Bob’s Burgers.

Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas and Keith Lucas accepted the night’s only honorary award for their work on Warner Bros’ Judas and the Black Messiah. The Paul Selvin Award, named after the WGA West’s longtime general counsel, annually salutes scripts focused on civil rights and constitutional issues. The film’s screenplay is by Berson and King (who also directed the film) and the story is by Berson & King as well as the Lucas Bros.

The four recipients each delivered very brief remarks. King said it “feels fitting that a film featuring Fred Hampton’s words be honored with an award dedicated to freedom of expression.” Hampton, he added, “exemplified the vitality and sanctity of free speech as well as its incredible power, which so threatened the status quo.”

Tonight’s host Kal Penn, clad in a satin purple tux jacket, was live from what looked to be his home. The Harold & Kumar actor mentioned that he just became a WGA member.

“When I joined SAG they just gave me a pin, oh, well and health insurance,” he joked.

“The show brings together a wonderfully diverse range, from liberal writers on the East Coast to liberal writers on the West Coast,” he continued.

“We’re presenting 26 awards tonight…it’s also the same number of weeks we spend out of work,” Penn added.

Overall, next to previous hosts, Penn kept it very short.

In one of the lone funnier moments of the show, Jimmy Fallon presenting comedy series, said that last year when he presented, “I had to remind myself not to say penis when it’s Pen15.”

Then realizing that the producers got him to say the male organ on air, Fallon exclaimed, “You got me!…I just said it.”

Then not letting up, “The Great Penis Charlie Brown was my favorite Charlie Brown special; they don’t air that anymore. You have to get AppleTV+,” said the Tonight Show host.

In lieu of comical bits from presenters tonight, those were replaced by zinger montage videos which asked WGA members questions like “Sharpie or pencil?” and at the onset of the show, what writers at the age of 12, wanted to be when they grow up. For The Social Network Oscar winner and Trial of the Chicago 7 original screenplay nominee Sorkin, it was always a role in Broadway musicals.

Another brief funny moment was when Adapted Screenplay Borat Subsequent Moviefilm winner Sacha Baron Cohen detailed the eureka of capturing Rudy Giuliani in the raw during production in “one take.”

Breaking form during the virtual show, the Original Long Form winners for Mrs. America –Tanya Barfield, Joshua Griffith, Sharon Hoffman, Boo Killebrew, Micah Schraft, April Shih, Dahvi Waller–decided not to appear on camera and instead issued a placard statement which was read by a male voiceover:

“The creator of our show, Dahvi, is superstitious about planning speeches for awards we haven’t yet won, so we, the writing staff of Mrs. America have taken the liberty of composing a statement, just in case…

We are honored to receive this WGA award and humbled to have had the opportunity to tell these stories. We are grateful to Dahvi, who brought us all together and lifted our voices. She championed telling the stories of intersectionalism and marginalized figures too often relegated to historical footnotes.

The battle for the ERA, womens’ rights, civil rights and human rights, are all connected. We hope that the success of our show will encourage other writers to explore the under-represented figures of history and fight to tell multidimensional stories. All of the future exists in the past. We remain inspired by the words of Shirley Chisholm, “If there’s no room for you at the table, bring a folding chair.”

Here is the complete list of winners:


Original Screenplay

Promising Young Woman
Written by Emerald Fennell
Focus Features

Adapted Screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern
Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad
Based on Characters Created by Sacha Baron Cohen
Amazon Studios

Documentary Screenplay

The Dissident
Written by Mark Monroe and Bryan Fogel
Briarcliff Entertainment


Drama Series

The Crown
Written by Peter Morgan, Jonathan Wilson; Netflix

Comedy Series

Ted Lasso
Written by Jane Becker, Leann Bowen, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence, Jamie Lee, Jason Sudeikis, Phoebe Walsh, Bill Wrubel; Apple TV+

New Series

Ted Lasso
Written by Jane Becker, Leann Bowen, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence, Jamie Lee, Jason Sudeikis, Phoebe Walsh, Bill Wrubel; Apple TV+

Original Long Form

Mrs. America
Written by Tanya Barfield, Joshua Griffith, Sharon Hoffman, Boo Killebrew, Micah Schraft, April Shih, Dahvi Waller; FX Networks

Adapted Long Form

The Queen’s Gambit
Written by Scott Frank, Allan Scott, Based on the novel by Walter Tevis; Netflix

Original & Adapted Short Form New Media

Written by Marc Maurino; Quibi


“Xerox of a Xerox” (BoJack Horseman)
Written by Nick Adams; Netflix

Episodic Drama

“Fire Pink” (Ozark)
Written by Miki Johnson; Netflix

Episodic Comedy

“The Great” (The Great)
Written by Tony McNamara; Hulu

Comedy/Variety Talk Series

Desus & Mero
Writers: Daniel “Desus Nice” Baker, Claire Friedman, Ziwe Fumudoh, Josh Gondelman, Robert Kornhauser, Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez, Heben Nigatu, Mike Pielocik, Julia Young; Showtime

Comedy/Variety Specials

Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020
Head Writers: Ariel Dumas, Jay Katsir Writers: Delmonte Bent, Michael Brumm, River Clegg, Aaron Cohen, Stephen T. Colbert, Nicole Conlan, Paul Dinello, Glenn Eichler, Django Gold, Gabe Gronli, Barry Julien, Michael Cruz Kayne, Eliana Kwartler, Matt Lappin, Felipe Torres Medina, Opus Moreschi, Asher Perlman, Tom Purcell, Kate Sidley, Brian Stack, John Thibodeaux, Steve Waltien; Showtime

Comedy/Variety Sketch Series

At Home with Amy Sedaris
Writers: Jeremy Beiler, Cole Escola, Peter Grosz, Amy Sedaris; truTV

Quiz And Audience Participation

Weakest Link
Head Writer: Ann Slichter Writers: Chip Dornell, Paul Greenberg, Joyce Ikemi, Stuart Krasnow, Jon Macks, Mona Mira, Scott Saltzburg, Aaron Solomon, Chris Sturgeon, Grant Taylor; NBC

Daytime Drama

Days of Our Lives
Head Writer: Ron Carlivati Writers: Lorraine Broderick, Joanna Cohen, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, David Kreizman, Rebecca McCarty, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Katherine D. Schock, Elizabeth Snyder; NBC

Children’s Episodic, Long Form And Specials

“The Sleepover”
Written by Sarah Rothschild; Netflix

Documentary Script – Current Events

“Agents of Chaos, Part II”
Written by Alex Gibney & Michael J. Palmer; HBO Documentary Films

Documentary Script – Other Than Current Events

“Opioids, Inc.” (Frontline)
Written by Tom Jennings; PBS

News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, Or Breaking Report

“Anger in America” (World News Tonight with David Muir)
Written by Dave Bloch, David Muir, Karen Mooney, David Schoetz; ABC News

News Script – Analysis, Feature, Or Commentary

“Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming”
Written by Dave Bloch; ABC News

Digital News

“The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd”
Written by Aymann Ismail; Slate.com


Radio Audio News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, Or Breaking Report

“Changemakers: Leaders Who Made a Difference”
Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio

Radio Audio News Script – Analysis, Feature, Or Commentary

“Against Those Thugs: Delores Tucker and Bill Bennett” (Slow Burn)
Written by Joel Anderson, Christopher Johnson; Slate Podcasts


On Air Promotion

“Get Out The Vote – Check Out Those Moves”
Written by Meghana Reddy and Angad Bhalla; Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2021/03/writers-guild-winners-list-wga-1234718559/