The Writers Guild of America, West, handed out its 2008 honorary awards Wednesday at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.
According to WGA West president Patric Verrone, the guild was celebrating the occasion differently than it has in past years. Instead of a black-tie dinner in Beverly Hills, the presentation was a business-attire lunch in downtown L.A. A little more relaxed, it seemed, as the guild is still tingly from the strike that ended two months ago.
The ceremony, hosted by Mr. Verrone, recognized Budd Schulberg (“On the Waterfront”) with the Screen Laurel Award, David Chase (“The Sopranos”) with the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television, Robert Eisele and Jeffrey Porro (“The Great Debaters”) with the Paul Selvin Award, Tom Schulman (“Dead Poets Society," J.J. Abrams' series "Anatomy of Hope”) with the Valentine Davies Award, Don M. Mankiewicz (“Ironside”) with the Morgan Cox Award and Brad Bird (“Ratatouille”) with the Writers Guild Animation Writing Award.
The honorary awards recipients were announced weeks in advance, but this is the first time the WGA has been able to get together since the strike ended. At the luncheon, the guild seized the opportunity to hand out its award statues, which had yet to be distributed because of the strike.
The real winner for the day, though, was the decision to serve parmesan-crusted chicken with mashed potatoes instead of the traditional salmon with wild rice.
Why? It takes a little bit of comfort food to assure you that things are getting back to normal.