September 27, 2023



Potential Impact of Strikes on Academy Museum Gala, Governors Awards, and Academy Awards

Potential Impact of Strikes on Academy Museum Gala, Governors Awards, and Academy Awards

The ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild are putting the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a bind regarding several of their high-profile upcoming events.

The Academy Museum Gala, held in September or October as a star-studded fundraiser for the Academy Museum, may be able to proceed if the strikes continue. While the glitzy event could cause some awkwardness between studios executives and striking writers and actors, the philanthropic nature and the Academy’s neutral position make it unlikely that guild members would actively picket or boycott the Gala. However, talent may voluntarily skip the event to show solidarity or avoid mingling with studio executives who paid for their seats. This would dampen the Gala’s star power and could impact fundraising.

The Governors Awards in November face more uncertainty. Honouring actors Angela Bassett and Mel Brooks with honorary Oscars, the event would likely have to be postponed if they express reservations about attending during the strike. Rescheduling is complicated by the Awards being strategically held during Oscar season to attract celebrity attendees. Pushing the event past Oscar voting in January would defeat that purpose. And with writers and actors boycotting studio-paid seats and tables, the event would lose its glittering guest list.

As for the Oscars themselves in March, it’s highly unlikely the show would be cancelled entirely due to a continuing strike. The precedent of the 1960 Oscars going on amidst a strike, with Bob Hope joking about the situation in his opening monologue, suggests the show will go on. However, a prolonged work stoppage could impact which stars choose to attend Hollywood’s biggest night.

The bottom line is the Academy has difficult decisions to make about altering, postponing, or proceeding with their marquee events that normally bring striking guild members together with studio executives. With the strikes causing immense uncertainty, the plans for the Museum Gala, Governors Awards, and Oscars remain in flux. The Academy must weigh concerns about funding, attendance, timing, and optics as the entertainment industry grapples with this extraordinary moment.

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Jhon Steve