Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
News Release: July 30, 2009
WGAW Statement on 61st Primetime Emmy Awards Telecast Changes

LOS ANGELES -- Writers Guild of America, West President Patric M. Verrone today issued the following statement regarding the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ decision to remove the live presentation of two writing awards from the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards telecast:

“This action of the board of governors is a clear violation of a longstanding agreement the Writers Guilds have with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences regarding their awards telecast. It is also a serious demotion for writing and a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of writers in the creation of television programs. Last year’s Emmys suffered a tremendous decline in quality and ratings because of a lack of scripted material. That the Academy would then decide to devalue the primary and seminal role that writing plays in television is ridiculous and self-defeating.”

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: