MTV Movie and TV Awards Will Change Its Format as WGA Strike Unfolds

After Drew Barrymore dropped out of the event in solidarity with the WGA, the live event will continue without a host

2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater (Getty Collection)
onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

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The MTV Movie and TV Awards will still be happening live this coming Sunday. But due to the ongoing WGA strike, it will be taking a different format than previous years, TheWrap can confirm.

Bruce Gillmer, President of Music, Music Talent, Programming and Events at Paramount Global, and an executive producer of the MTV Movie & TV Awards said in a statement, “As we carefully navigate how best to deliver the fan first awards’ show we envisioned that our team has worked so hard to create, we’re pivoting away from a live event that still enables us to produce a memorable night full of exclusive sneak peaks, irreverent categories our audience has come to expect, and countless moments that will both surprise and delight as we honor the best of film and TV over the past year.”

What’s known for sure is that the MTV Movie and TV Awards will be a live show that will take place in front of a live audience. As for the report from Deadline that up to 75% of nominees and presenters have backed out of the event out of fear of crossing picket lines, the same source claimed that was taken out of context.

This news comes on the heels of Drew Barrymore dropping out as host the awards show. In a statement to press, Barrymore said she removed herself from the awards show “in solidarity with the strike.”

That’s not the only strike-related news that’s emerged ahead of Sunday’s event. On Friday, the WGA announced that it will be picketing Barker Hanger, the site of the MTV Movie and TV Awards. The protest will start on Sunday, May 7 at 5 p.m. PT — the same time the awards show is supposed to start. MTV canceled the planned red carpet and talent interviews for the event-

Sunday night will serve as a litmus test for Hollywood, as the MTV Movie and TV Awards is the first major awards show to happen during the 2023 strike. It’s also one of the first awards shows to ever have to adjust to a strike in modern history. Though the 2007 writers’ strike lasted 100 days, it took place during the fall and winter, meaning that only the Golden Globes was effected. Due to boycotts and picketing, the awards show was canceled and the winners were announced via press conference. Instead of airing the conference, NBC aired a special in which Billy Bush and Nancy O’Dell broke down the results.

That’s not the case this time around. Not only did the WGA strike start the week before MTV’s big show, but it’s also happening as Emmy campaigning is in full swing. How both the network and the industry as a whole respond to Sunday’s event will likely set the tone for the awards season to come.