The Dramatists Guild penned an open letter to Les Moonves, chief executive of CBS, speaking out against the lack of representation of playwrights, composers and lyricists on the Tony Awards broadcast Sunday.
The letter, written by Doug Wright, president of the Dramatists Guild of America, comes after the Tony Awards did not mention the authors for best play during the show, nor represent plays as it did with musicals. The awards show also did not broadcast the presentation of Best Score of a Musical on CBS, which Wright noted included popular songwriters such as John Legend, Cyndi Lauper and more for “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
“Adding further insult to injury, when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won the trophy, the two producers used up all the allotted time without allowing the playwright to speak. Regrettably, CBS drowned out playwright Jack Thorne with incidental music, favoring time strictures over meaningful content and basic fairness,” the letter from Wright reads.
This is not the first time writers have felt slighted by the awards show, as the letter notes that the Guild has been “forced to write some version of this letter almost annually.” After Sunday’s Tony Awards, Wright said he received many emails from “irked theater writers.”
The letter says that the lack of inclusion of these writers is both “patently arbitrary” and damaging.
“This is a shame not only for the telecast, but also for our national musical and literary heritage,” the letter reads.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the awards that were not shown on the telecast.