For striking writers nominated for Emmys this year, the recognition is bittersweet. It’s an accomplishment that many strive for, but as members of the WGA continue their 10th week on the picket lines, the accolades ring hollow. Awards are nice, sure, but they don’t ensure the financial and professional stability that the WGA is fighting for.
Brittani Nichols, a WGA strike captain who is nominated for her work on Abbott Elementary, acknowledged what she called a very “complicated celebration” in a post on Twitter:
When I moved to LA in 2011, I kept a piece of paper in my wallet with a few goals on it. One of those goals was to win an Emmy. I lost that wallet but I am now nominated as one of the producers for Abbott Elementary. Because of the ongoing writers' strike, my ability to enjoy this accomplishment has become more complex than usual. As a writer, I am not currently partners with the studios. Therefore, campaigning as if I am — as if everything is hunky-dory and they are not actively seeking to bring about the end of the profession of television writing — would feel crappy to me. Thus, I will not be campaigning on the show's behalf until a fair deal for the WGA and SAG-AFTRA is reached. Thank you to everyone that is congratulating and rooting for the workers that make this show happen. Congrats to us. We did this together. Let's continue fighting so that all entertainment workers are fairly compensated for the value we bring to the companies.
A note from an unemployed Emmy nominee pic.twitter.com/KwGFfJrZ3p— Brittani Nichols *Strike Version* (@BisHilarious) July 12, 2023
Abbott Elementary creator, writer, and star (and member of the WGA) Quinta Brunson, who was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Saturday Night Live, congratulated her cast and crew in a Twitter thread before making sure to clarify her support of the union: “I'm celebrating these nominations for our work, while keeping in mind that the WGA is currently fighting for fair compensation to make this work happen. that fight continues. #wgastrong.”
Neither of the shows mentioned above are possible without WRITERS. So, I'm celebrating these nominations for our work, while keeping in mind that the WGA is currently fighting for fair compensation to make this work happen. that fight continues. #wgastrong.— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) July 12, 2023
A recent report from Deadline indicates that no amount of Emmy nominations will get the AMPTP back to the bargaining table in a timely manner. One anonymous source said, “The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses” — and several others corroborated that sentiment among studio executives. The story, which ran on the day before the nominations were announced, soured the anticipation around the impending nominations even more.
Already the Television Academy is considering moving the Emmys ceremony, which is currently slated for September, to November or January in anticipation of the strike continuing, not to mention the potential of SAG-AFTRA striking as well. Matt Goldich, a writer on Late Night With Seth Meyers, acknowledged his nomination with a jab at the potential new ceremony date.
“Very excited to hopefully someday attend the Emmys for this once they are rescheduled for 2031,” he tweeted.
Very excited to hopefully someday attend the Emmys for this once they are rescheduled for 2031. https://t.co/eRuq4zFQtA— Matt Goldich (@MattGoldich) July 12, 2023
Jay Jurden, a writer nominated for his work on The Problem With Jon Stewart, took a moment to celebrate before quote tweeting his own post with a reminder: “Oh, I never forget the #WGA deserves a fair deal!”
Several others have followed Jurden’s lead, responding first with joy and pride in their work.
Roughly seven years ago, partly as a bit and partly as manifestation, I told my phone to call me a Golden Globe nominee. Well the globes are dead and now I’m an Emmy nominee twice over. Dream bigger kids! pic.twitter.com/Z9B4wtqvtM— Joel Kim Booster (@ihatejoelkim) July 12, 2023
The gang did it again! 2023 Emmy Nomination coming at you!!!!! pic.twitter.com/2LMUG1BIqx— Two Time Emmy Winner Ali B (@wtflanksteak) July 12, 2023
Congratulations to all of the #AbbottElementary Emmy nominees! I’m so proud of you, the whole cast, writers, crew and execs who’ve loved this show onto the air for two seasons. A complete team effort that is getting some nice recognition today. Love you all.— Patrick Schumacker (@PMSchumacker) July 12, 2023
Just as the nominations were being announced, several industry unions — WGA, DGA, IATSE, Hollywood Basic Crafts, and Teamsters — issued a joint statement showing support for SAG-AFTRA as they enter into a potential strike, which will be decided tomorrow, giving the nominated actors little time to bask in their own sense of accomplishment. But thanks to this letter, members of all the guilds can walk onto the picket line with not just an Emmy nomination but the support of other workers behind them to continue fighting for what they deserve.
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.