The Primetime Emmy Awards – television’s top honor – have been postponed for the first time in more than two decades as strikes by Hollywood writers and actors continue, Variety reported Thursday.
The awards show had been scheduled to air on Fox on September 18. Vendors for the event “have been told that the ceremony will not air” on that date, “the first time that there has been official word that the date has been pushed,” the entertainment outlet reported.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Television Academy deferred to Fox, which declined to comment on the matter.
CNN is seeking comment from the unions representing the striking writers and actors – the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA.
The postponement would be the first for the Emmys since the show was delayed after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Hollywood productions drastically slowed down as the Writers Guild of America went on strike on May 2. The productions that remained nearly all stopped after SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, began a strike on July 14, marking the first time Hollywood writers and actors have been on strike simultaneously since the 1960s.
The Emmy Awards typically happen in September for its proximity to the major networks kicking off what usually is the new TV season.
Why they’re striking
The writers’ strike of more than 11,000 members came after their union and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, which is negotiating on behalf of studio management, could not come to an agreement on issues including staffing and duration of employment on shows.
AMPTP represents Amazon, Apple, CBS, Disney, NBC Universal, Netflix, Paramount Global, Sony, and CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.
Many writers are unable to support themselves with writing alone and have been suffering from reduced job opportunities and the loss of some sources of income due to an industry shift from traditional broadcast and cable programming to streaming services. The last writers’ strike started in November 2007 stretched 100 days into February of 2008.
The rise of steaming has fundamentally changed how writers are paid. Writers had traditionally received residuals when a show they wrote is sold to run again in syndication or on basic cable, making it an important source of income for many over the years.
But they’re unlikely to get meaningful residuals, if any at all, when they create original content for streaming services as contracts stand today.
This month, about 160,000 actors represented by SAG-AFTRA went on strike against the same studios after the union said studio management offers were “insulting and disrespectful.”
The issues in the actors’ strike included desires for increased pay, as well as progress on residuals, particularly on streaming services.
“The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us,” actors’ union president Fran Drescher said July 13. “Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal.”
The strikes come as prominent media companies say they’re feeling financial pain. Many of the companies AMPTP represents have seen drops in their stock prices, prompting cost cuts including layoffs.