Streaming studios dominated the first-ever all virtual Writers Guild Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in writing for film, television, new media, news, radio/audio, and promotional categories on March 21, 2021.
Netflix won the most: 5 TV awards. The Crown won Drama. Bojack Horseman won Animation. Ozark won Episodic Drama. The Queen’s Gambit won Adapted Long Form. The Sleepover won Episodic Long Form.
Apple TV+ Ted Lasso won 2: Comedy and New Series.
Amazon Studios‘ Borat sequel won Film – Adapted Screenplay.
Hulu‘s The Great won Episodic Comedy.
Even the now-defunct Quibi’s #FREERAYSHAWN won Short Form New Media
Get Out the Vote promotion across social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube won Promo.
The Writers Guild of America West and East chapters jointly presented the awards, hosted by actor producer Kal Penn.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Promising Young Woman, Written by Emerald Fennell; Focus Features
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad, Based on Characters Created by Sacha Baron Cohen; Amazon Studios
DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY: The Dissident, Written by Mark Monroe and Bryan Fogel; Briarcliff Entertainment
TV, NEW MEDIA
DRAMA: The Crown, Written by Peter Morgan, Jonathan Wilson; Netflix
COMEDY SERIES: Ted Lasso, Written by Jane Becker, Leann Bowen, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence, Jamie Lee, Jason Sudeikis, Phoebe Walsh, Bill Wrubel; Apple TV+
NEW SERIES: Ted Lasso, Written by Jane Becker, Leann Bowen, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence, Jamie Lee, Jason Sudeikis, Phoebe Walsh, Bill Wrubel; Apple TV+
ORIGINAL LONG FORM: Mrs. America, Written by Tanya Barfield, Joshua Griffith, Sharon Hoffman, Boo Killebrew, Micah Schraft, April Shih, Dahvi Waller; FX Networks
ADAPTED LONG FORM: The Queen’s Gambit, Written by Scott Frank, Allan Scott, Based on the novel by Walter Tevis; Netflix
ORIGINAL & ADAPTED SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA: #FREERAYSHAWN, Written by Marc Maurino; Quibi
ANIMATION: “Xerox of a Xerox” (BoJack Horseman), Written by Nick Adams; Netflix
EPISODIC DRAMA: “Fire Pink” (Ozark), Written by Miki Johnson; Netflix
EPISODIC COMEDY: “The Great” (The Great), Written by Tony McNamara; Hulu
COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES: Desus & Mero, Writers: Daniel “Desus Nice” Baker, Claire Friedman, Ziwe Fumudoh, Josh Gondelman, Robert Kornhauser, Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez, Heben Nigatu, Mike Pielocik, Julia Young; Showtime
COMEDY/VARIETY SPECIALS: Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020, Head Writers Ariel Dumas, Jay Katsir, Writers: Delmonte Bent, Michael Brumm, River Clegg, Aaron Cohen, Stephen T. Colbert, Nicole Conlan, Paul Dinello, Glenn Eichler, Django Gold, Gabe Gronli, Barry Julien, Michael Cruz Kayne, Eliana Kwartler, Matt Lappin, Felipe Torres Medina, Opus Moreschi, Asher Perlman, Tom Purcell, Kate Sidley, Brian Stack, John Thibodeaux, Steve Waltien; Showtime
COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES: At Home with Amy Sedaris, Writers: Jeremy Beiler, Cole Escola, Peter Grosz, Amy Sedaris; truTV
QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Weakest Link, Head Writer: Ann Slichter, Writers: Chip Dornell, Paul Greenberg, Joyce Ikemi, Stuart Krasnow, Jon Macks, Mona Mira, Scott Saltzburg, Aaron Solomon, Chris Sturgeon, Grant Taylor; NBC
DAYTIME DRAMA: Days of Our Lives, Head Writer: Ron Carlivati, Writers: Lorraine Broderick, Joanna Cohen, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, David Kreizman, Rebecca McCarty, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Katherine D. Schock, Elizabeth Snyder; NBC
CHILDREN’S EPISODIC, LONG FORM AND SPECIALS: “The Sleepover,” Written by Sarah Rothschild.; Netflix
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS: “Agents of Chaos, Part I,” Written by Alex Gibney & Michael J. Palmer; HBO Documentary Films
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS: “Opioids, Inc” (Frontline), Written by Tom Jennings; PBS
NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT: “Anger in America” (World News Tonight with David Muir), Written by Dave Bloch, David Muir, Karen Mooney, David Schoetz; ABC News
NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY: “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming,” Written by Dave Bloch; ABC News
DIGITAL NEWS: “The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd,” Written by Aymann Ismail, Slate.com
RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT—REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT: “Changemakers: Leaders Who Made a Difference,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio
RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY: “Against Those Thugs: Delores Tucker and Bill Bennett,” Written by Joel Anderson, Christopher Johnson; Slate Podcasts
ON-AIR PROMOTION: “Get Out The Vote – Check Out Those Moves,” Written by Meghana Reddy and Angad Bhalla; Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
The 2021 Writers Guild Awards virtual ceremony was hosted by actor-writer-producer Kal Penn (Clarice).
Presenters included: Academy Award-nominated and Primetime Emmy Award-winning actor Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Academy Award-nominated, WGA-nominated, and Golden Globe-winning writer-actor-producer Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning actress Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), WGAE Walter Bernstein Award for Social Justice recipient and Emmy-nominated writer-correspondent Jelani Cobb (Frontline), Adweek and Streamy Award-winning comedian-writer Sarah Cooper (How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings), Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress and Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Grammy-winning and NAACP Image Award-nominated actor Daveed Diggs (The Good Lord Bird), Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-nominated writer-producer Ava DuVernay (When They See Us), Primetime Emmy Award-winning and WGA-nominated writer-late night host Jimmy Fallon (The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon), Black Reel and NAACP Image Award-nominated actress and playwright Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah), WGA and SAG Award-nominated writer-actor Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso), WGA-winning and Primetime Emmy-nominated writer-actor Ryan O’Connell (Special), Academy Award-nominated and Tony Award-winning actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami), Primetime Emmy and WGA-nominated writer-late night hostAmber Ruffin (The Amber Ruffin Show), Daytime Emmy-nominated and People’s Choice Award-winning writer-late night host Lilly Singh (A Little Late with Lilly Singh), and Daytime Emmy Award-nominated writer-podcaster Baratunde Thurston (How to be with Baratunde).
In addition, Will Berson & Shaka King and Keith Lucas & Kenny Lucas received WGAW’s Paul Selvin Award for Judas and the Black Messiah (Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King, Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas; Warner Bros.). The Selvin Award is given to the script that best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere.