The writers’ strike-era MTV Movie & TV Awards felt like a pandemic ceremony

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Amidst the absence of a host and industry-wide labor unrest, MTV aired its Sunday Movie & TV Awards Honoring the most popular titles of the year and the stars of the big and small screen.

It was the first major award show to take place during the ongoing Hollywood writers' strike, which took a dramatic toll on the zeitgeist-mirroring ceremony.

MTV opted to dramatize what was later supposed to be a live show at the last minute drew barrymore Resigned as host and Writers Guild of America announced plans To picket outside the venue, the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. The was also scrapped after stars reportedly pulled out of the event.

The show's producers said they were “moving away from a live event” format and leaning heavily into a retrospective-style reminiscent of low-rated pandemic-era award shows. Sunday's ceremony featured remote and pretaped acceptance speeches, video montages from past performances and standout moments as well as upcoming projects including 's live-action “The Little Mermaid,” Showtime's “Yellowjackets” and a clip from Paramount's Summer was full of stealth. Tentpole film “Transformers: Rise of the Beast.”

No stage was set and no golden popcorn trophies were awarded in front of a live audience. Instead, MTV condensed its fan-voted awards show into a zippy flashback reel that was a far cry from the must-see, pop-culture-shifting fare the cable network previously traded in.

Besides an in-flight speech by “Top Gun: Maverick” star Tom Cruise, quoting “Hamlet,” the show also lacked its bankable star power, Sofia Carson getting emotional and “The Last of Us” From Trio of Acceptance. Star Pedro Pascal. The evening's other notable winners — Adam Sandler, Kardashian, Selena Gomez, and “Outer Banks” stars Madison Bailey and Rudy Panko (Best Kiss award winners) — did not send in videos.

“Scream VI”, which earned Best Picture, was represented by a man dressed as the villain Ghostface, giving thanks on behalf of the film.

Despite the glaring setbacks, a truncated ceremony aired on MTV and its affiliate networks. Here are some highlights of the show.

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drew barrymore was still very present

The host of “The Drew Barrymore Show” pulled out of the telecast days before Showtime in solidarity with Hollywood writers demanding higher pay and residuals for streaming content during this time. wga strike, The veteran actor and talk show host appeared during the show in pre-filmed segments.

“Everything we celebrate and respect about films and television was born out of his creation. And until a resolution is found, I'm choosing to wait, but I'll be watching from home,” Barrymore said in a statement to Variety.

But the wacky TV personality, who said she would host the live show next year, opened the ceremony as her “Never Been Kissed” character Josie, joining several of this year's nominated productions, including “The White Lotus,” “Stranger” is included. Things,” “Smile” and “Wednesday.” She later also starred in a “Barbie” movie spoof and appeared in several eponymous fight segments.

Barrymore also gave an acceptance speech in what appeared to be her bathroom when she won Best Host. She thanked the audience “for letting me in, [and] Get Eyeball to Eyeball” and name-checked her show's writers Chelsea White, Christina Keenan, and Elizabeth Coe as another show of support.

Pedro Pascal does triple duty

“The Last of Us” star Pascal appeared three times during the telecast to deliver pre-recorded speeches, receiving an additional golden popcorn trophy with each appearance.

The actor won the first prize of the night – Best Hero – second for Best Pair, with co-star Bella Ramsey, and third for Best Show.

It was in his final speech that he shared that he was “standing in solidarity with the WGA” and writer and co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, whom he said “couldn't be here.”

,[We are] Standing in solidarity with the WGA which is fighting so hard for fair pay. We thank you, we love you. i'm going to get them [trophies] To sleep with me,” he said.

Jennifer Coolidge shines as a comedic genius

After playing a montage highlighting her roles in “The White Lotus,” “Legally Blonde” and “American Pie,” a glam Coolidge delivered an acceptance speech in recognition of her comedic genius – or someone else's – living From the comfort of the room. And he didn't disappoint.

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“I was in Groundlings with Melissa McCarthy and Will Ferrell, and so now I get to join [Comedic Genius] Club with them and Sacha Baron Cohen and Kevin Hart and Jack Black. My gosh, what a fun night. … Part of the reason I'm so thrilled – it's ironic that the award will be made out of my favorite food: popcorn.

“You know, almost all great comedies start with great writers and I think that as a proud member of SAG [the Screen Actors Guild], I stand before you tonight alongside my sisters and brothers of the WGA who are fighting right now. Fighting for the rights of artists everywhere,” Coolidge said. “I think of the words of Shakespeare where he once said, you know, ‘The play is the thing.' ok i don't want to put words in his mouth or anything but i think that's what he really meant Everything,

Coolidge returned to the show later when she was honored with the award for scariest performance and said she hoped her iconic exit from HBO's “The White Lotus” would be the last time she would have to die on the show.

“I would like to be alive,” she said.

Ariana Madix comes out to address ‘Vanderpump Rules' drama

next “Scandoval” case who shook up Bravo's “Vanderpump Rules” this spring, ariana madix appeared alongside her co-stars Katie Maloney and Scheana Shay to accept the golden popcorn for the reality on-screen team (Lala Kent was also a winner, but delivered a different speech clip.)

Maddix pointed out, “We've been through so many ups and downs as friends and obviously it's been a very tumultuous time in all of our lives, but when we come together as a team So we really do get to be the best, so thank you.” for the scandal that resulted in her breakup with her longtime boyfriend and co-star Tom Sandoval.

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‘RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' contestants criticize anti-drag law

A quartet of drag queens from “RuPaul's Drag Race” accepted the award for the competition series in a Zoom-like meeting room, highlighting the importance of queer stories amid anti-drag legislation targeting their craft. Tennessee and other states.

“It's so important at this time to hear queer and trans stories from queer and trans people, to meet the artists behind the artistry and to see the human beings out there so that we can be empathetic to each other and stop these bigotry, anti -trans legislation,” said Season 7 winner Jinx Monsoon.

Co-star Jada Essence Hall highlights the ACLU's Drag Defense Fund, which was created by production company World of Wonder and MTV for “RuPaul's Drag Race” to preserve and defend LGBTQ+ rights. The fund, Hall said, was “created to respond to threats against drag performers around the world and specifically here.”

“As drag queens and independent artists we know how important it is to advocate for ourselves and our worth,” Monsoon said. “And that's why we queens stand with them in the Writers' Strike.”

The queens and Coolidge weren't the only ones to show support for the WGA. “” star Joseph Quinn, who won the award for breakthrough performance, also toasted the writers for their “compassionately intelligent, quality writing” in creating a way for viewers to connect with his character.

Times Staff Writer Christy Caras contributed to this report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,