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EMMYS: A Golden Night for SAG

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

It was a golden evening for the Screen Actors Guild on Emmy night. Celebrities such as Emmy winner Jack Lemmon (for “Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tuesdays With Morrie”) along with John Lithgow, David Schwimmer and James Cromwell arrived at the 52nd Annual Emmy Awards red carpet pre-show Sunday night at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium donning gold ribbons in support of the SAG strike.

SAG had requested that its members and others wear the ribbons in support of the long-running strike in response to actions to end royalty payments for commercials.

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series winner Linwood Boomer (“Malcolm in the Middle”) was the only Emmy winner to speak about the SAG strike during the telecast. Boomer concluded his acceptance speech by saying,” I left my yellow [sic] ribbon at home, but I love you guys. Don’t give up.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Boomer told reporters backstage: “I meant to wear my gold ribbon, but I was so preoccupied with trying to tie my bow tie that I forgot to put it on in the limo. But I do support the cause. Hey, I’m a union guy.”

Several other winners spoke about their support for the SAG strike backstage.

Sela Ward, Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for ABC’s “Once and Again,” told reporters: “I wish it were over. I’d like to go back to working for Sprint,” noting that she lived for many years on the income she made from commercials.

Actor Charles S. Dutton, who won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Movie or Miniseries, declared that anyone who crosses the picket line is a “scab and should be disciplined and doesn’t have my respect.”

Others donning gold ribbons during the Emmy telecast included Ray Romano, Matthew Perry and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series winner Allison Janney of NBC’s “The West Wing.”

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