Grammy organizers reach deal with striking writers

Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:58pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood's striking writers said on Monday they will grant an "interim agreement" to organizers of the Grammy awards allowing the ceremony honoring musicians to be written by union members.

Last week, the Writers Guild of America, which represents some 10,500 striking film and television writers, said it would not picket the music event, so Monday's announcement further ensures the show will continue in its traditional format of presenters giving awards and musicians performing hit songs.

"Professional musicians face many of the same issues that we do concerning fair compensation for the use of their work in new media," the Writers Guild said in a statement, adding that it made the decision "in the interest of advancing our goal of achieving a fair contract."

The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards, responded by saying it was "gratified" to reach the deal.

"Having our talented writers on the team further ensures the highest level of creativity and innovation," said Neil Portnow, Recording Academy president and chief executive.

Writers launched their strike against major film and TV studios in November, and informal talks between the parties restarted only last week. The key dispute centers on pay for writers' work when it appears on the Internet.

The strike has caused several Hollywood awards shows, including the Golden Globes, to be canceled or changed because stars have refused to cross picket lines or work on shows that do not have an "interim agreement."

The Grammys, which are the top U.S. honors in the music industry, are scheduled to take place on February 10, in a program to be televised by CBS.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Todd Eastham)

 
<p>Signs are piled up at the end of a rally of striking members of the Writers Guild of America in Hollywood, November 20, 2007. Hollywood's striking writers said on Monday they will grant an "interim agreement" to organizers of the Grammy awards allowing the ceremony honoring musicians to be written by union members. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>