MTV Movie & TV Awards Won't Be Aired Live in Last-Minute Change of Plans

The MTV Movie & TV Awards are pivoting to a pre-taped show on Sunday in the wake of the Writers Guild of America strike. "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," said Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming, and events at Paramount Global, and an executive producer of the MTV Movie & TV Awards, in a statement to Variety.

The decision was made to move to pre-tape as attendees began making public their intent to no longer attend. Among them was presenter Jamie Lee Curtis, who wrote on Instagram: "I'm not gonna be able to go and present because the [Writers Guild] needs and deserves my support and I won't cross their picket line."

On Thursday, Drew Barrymore announced she would step down as host of this year's MTV Movie & TV Awards in a show of support and solidarity to the striking Writers Guild members. Instead, she will return next year for the event. "I have listened to the writers, and in order to truly respect them, I will pivot from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike," Barrymore said in a statement. "Everything we celebrate and honor about movies and television is born out of their creation. And until a solution is reached, I am choosing to wait, but I'll be watching from home and hope you will join me. The Writers Guild announced on Friday that it would picket outside Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, where the show was set to take place on May 7, as part of a short press release on the protest.

MTV had already decided not to have a red carpet before the show to keep the event off the radar of anyone who might picket the event. Producer Bruce Gillmer told Variety previously that some acceptance speeches would be pre-recorded for winners, but the producers were also treading lightly in working with talent regarding whether they would attend.

"We're going to be super respectful of the talents' decisions to either be involved in pre tapes, show up or not show up, whatever they decide," he said. "We've got backup plans and coverage just in case, so I guess the short answer is, I'm not sure yet… There's also athletes and celebrity chefs and all kinds of other talent that are not squarely affected. So we'll be going down that road. We will be looking for some live talent in the room to help tell the story, but not host segments per se. We also have a very charismatic VO artist with us, so stay tuned. It's all unfolding in real time."