'Everything Everywhere All At Once,' 'Women Talking,' win big at Writer's Guild Awards

Amy Schumer, whose show "Inside Amy Schumer" won Comedy/Variety Sketch Series at the Writers Guild Awards at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on March 5, 2023. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 6 (UPI) --


Everything Everywhere All At Once took home more prizes at the Writer's Guild Awards, making it the clear frontrunner for Sunday's Academy Awards.

The awards presentation was held simultaneously in New York and in Los Angeles, hosted by Abbott Elementary star Janelle James, in Los Angeles and by comedian/actress Michelle Bateau in New York City.

The film stars Michelle Yeoh who has been the unanimous winner at all the previous major awards shows this year, including at this weekend's Independent Spirit Awards, won Best Original Screenplay.

Co-writers and directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert said they had help from an unusual source that helped them get through the film's arduous writing process.

"Writing is confusing and hard, and we felt so lost so often," Scheinert said. "Thank you to our therapists."


Sarah Polley's Women Talking, which has already won several awards, won another for Best Adapted Screenplay. Polley also directed the film and thanked one of her math teachers for letting her write stories in class.

The film is based on the book by Miriam Toews. Polley referenced the ongoing Writer's Guild negotiations for a new TV and film contract in her speech, which she said echoed the movie's themes.

"It is about collective action," she told the audience. "It's about having the hard conversations, about envisioning and taking responsibility for having the vision of a better future. That is the definition of a union."

Both Bateau and James referenced the contract negotiations in their speeches, with James also acknowledging the still glaring lack of diversity behind-the-scenes in film and television.

"White guys keep telling me, to my face, that we're taking all the writing jobs, that we're diversity hires," James said. "As you can see in this room tonight, they were right. There's upwards of 10 of us in here."

Two Black pioneers in film and TV were honored on both coasts. Living Single creator Yvette Lee Bowser received a standing ovation in Los Angeles while accepting the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing.


"I am blessed to live in my purpose, telling authentic, resonant stories and creating new opportunities for new talent to break through," Bowser said in her speech.

She acknowledged Kim Coles and Queen Latifah, the stars of Living Single who advocated for a Black showrunner for the popular '90s sitcom. She went on to create Half and Half starring Rachel True and Essence Atkins and co-created Run the World, Starz' entry into the four-friends-in-New-York-City show.

Bowser is now the showrunner for the Hulu series UnPrisoned and was most recently the showrunner for Dear White People for Netflix.

"You have helped me build a meaningful legacy of elevating others while you were simultaneously elevating me," Bowser concluded.

Honoree Spike Lee, who sat with Steven Spielberg in New York, remembered sneaking the famed director into the class he taught at NYU. He was honored on the East Coast with the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement.

"Writing is no joke. This [expletive] ain't easy," he said. And then, distracted by the score of the New York Knicks game he was following, the longtime fan said, "Let's hope the Knicks win in overtime."


Other winners included Mike White of The White Lotus, the lauded HBO show, which won for limited series. He told the crowd he'd once been hospitalized for mental health challenges but said in his speech, "It hasn't always been like this. This is new to me. I'm really appreciative. I love being a writer and I love living a writer's life."

Apple TV+ drama Severance won Best New Series and Best Drama Series and The Bear won for Best Comedy.

"We've finally answered the age-old question: Does comedy have to be funny," said Bear writer Rene Gube. "We feel so lucky to write this show. In a lot of ways, it felt like we won the Lotto to be here and in a lot of ways we feel like we really earned it."

Better Call Saul won for Best Episodic Drama and Hacks for Best Episodic Comedy while the Prime Video animated series Undone was the upset winner for Best Animated Series, despite being up against three episodes of The Simpsons.

See the full list of winners here.

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