Tony Awards Virtual Celebration Postponed in Solidarity With Black Lives Matter
By Meredith B. Kile
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
The 2020 Tony Awards are being postponed once again. On Monday, Broadway On Demand announced that they were postponing the Tonys celebration that was scheduled to air on the newly launched streaming service this Sunday, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the ongoing protests across the country.
"We are collectively saddened and angered by the senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and disheartened by the ongoing racism and injustices that continue to permeate our society," said Broadway on Demand CEO/President Sean Cercone in a statement. "We at Broadway On Demand do not tolerate hate, racism, injustice or bigotry of any kind," the statement began. "The continued violence against Black Americans is inexcusable. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter."
"This is a pivotal moment in our nation's history and our priorities at this time are to listen, to engage in meaningful dialogue and to do our best to enact real change in our industry and in our nation. We truly believe theater has the power to educate, inspire, develop empathy, bridge cultural divides and ultimately unite under the banner of humanity."
Broadway On Demand's Tony Awards celebration -- which was initially scheduled to honor the 2019-2020 Broadway season, after the annual awards ceremony was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic -- will be rescheduled, with more information available at a later date.
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"Broadway On Demand recognizes that we have the power to influence and change the world through art. Our goal as an organization is to create a platform where underrepresented voices can be amplified and uplifted," their statement concluded. "That is why it is of the utmost importance that the programs we deliver adhere to these beliefs and reflect the world in which we live."
The 74th annual Tony Awards were originally scheduled to air live on CBS on Sunday, June 7 from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The American Theatre Wing announced the news in March adding in their statement, "We are looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do so." The Broadway League announced on May 12 that all shows would remain dark through Sept. 6, effectively ending the 2019-2020 season.
In lieu of the original event, CBS is planning to air Grease Sing-a-Longon Sunday, a special which features follow-along lyrics to all of the songs from the classic 1978 musical film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The film is based off of the 1971 stage show.
The Grease sing-along isn't the only thing theater fans have to look forward to in the coming months. It was recently announced that a film of the original cast of Hamilton would be coming to Disney+ on July 3 in honor of July 4 weekend. The hit show, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr. and more was originally filmed in 2016, a week before several members of the original cast exited the show.
Grease Sing-a-Long will air Sunday, June 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
See highlights from last year's Tonys in the video below.