×
Back to IndieWire

2021 WGA Winners: ‘Promising Young Woman,’ ‘Borat 2,’ ‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘The Crown’ Take Top Honors

From Oscar frontrunners to Emmy darlings, the Sunday night event promised to keep up the heat for a number of big winners.

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, front: Carey Mulligan; back: Bo Burnham, 2020. ph: Merie Weismiller Wallace / © Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Promising Young Woman”

Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

Before the Indie Spirits, before the Oscars, there are the guilds, and as Hollywood inches its way through a protracted awards season, it’s up to each voting body to dole out their own accolades. On Sunday night, it was time for the writers to shine, as the Writers Guild of America (both East and West, with the two branches joining forces for a single event for the first time ever) presented their awards for film, television, news, and more, all voted on by fellow writers. For writers, by writers!

As IndieWire’s own Anne Thompson has noted, the WGA’s film nominees are less predictive than an indication of what’s losing and gaining heat, from the missing early 2020 releases “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” “The King of Staten Island,” and “Da 5 Bloods,” to such surging movies as “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Sound of Metal,” and “Promising Young Woman,” all of which recently earned Best Picture nods from the Academy.

At the Sunday night event, Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” and the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won Outstanding Original Screenplay and Outstanding Adapted Screenplay, respectively. Both films are nominated for the same awards at the Oscars.

On the TV side, streaming outfits proved dominant, with all of the three major awards going to streamers, including Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso,” which won both Outstanding Comedy and Outstanding New Series. Netflix’s “The Crown” won for Outstanding Drama Series, beating out competitors like “Better Call Saul,” “The Boys,” “The Mandalorian,” and “Ozark.”

Both of last year’s big film winners, including “Parasite” for Original Screenplay and “Jojo Rabbit” for Adapted Screenplay, went on to win the same awards at the 2020 Oscars. Last year’s TV winner for Outstanding Drama Series, “Succession,” also won at the Emmys, though the WGA Outstanding Comedy Series winner “Barry” lost out to “Schitt’s Creek” at the September event.

All the nominees were celebrated at a joint 2021 Writers Guild Awards virtual ceremony, which took place on the evening of Sunday, March 21, 2021. All winners are indicated below.

Film Winners and Nominees

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 WINNER

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Screenplay by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Based on the Play Written by August Wilson; Netflix

“News of the World,” Screenplay by Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies, Based upon the Novel by Paulette Jiles; Universal Pictures

“One Night in Miami,” Screenplay by Kemp Powers, Based on the Stage Play “One Night in Miami” by Kemp Powers; Amazon Studios

“The White Tiger,” Screenplay by Ramin Bahrani, Based on the Book “The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga; Netflix

Borat

Sacha Baron Cohen in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Amazon Studios

Original Screenplay

“Judas and the Black Messiah,” Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King, Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas; Warner Bros.

“Palm Springs,” Screenplay by Andy Siara, Story by Andy Siara & Max Barbakow; Hulu

“Promising Young Woman,” Written by Emerald Fennell; Focus Features WINNER

“Sound of Metal,” Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder, Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance; Amazon Studios

“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Written by Aaron Sorkin; Netflix

Documentary Screenplay

“All In: The Fight for Democracy,” Written by Jack Youngelson; Amazon Studios

“The Dissident,” Written by Mark Monroe and Bryan Fogel; Briarcliff Entertainment WINNER

“Herb Alpert Is…,” Written by John Scheinfeld; Abramorama

“Red Penguins,” Written by Gabe Polsky; Universal Pictures

“Totally Under Control,” Written by Alex Gibney; Neon

Television, News Media, and News Winners and Nominees

Drama Series

“Better Call Saul,” Written by Ann Cherkis, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Ariel Levine, Heather Marion, Thomas Schnauz, Gordon Smith, Alison Tatlock; AMC

“The Boys,” Written by Eric Kripke, Ellie Monahan, Anslem Richardson, Craig Rosenberg, Michael Saltzman, Rebecca Sonnenshine; Amazon Studios

“The Crown,” Written by Peter Morgan, Jonathan Wilson; Netflix WINNER

“The Mandalorian,” Written by Rick Famuyiwa, Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni; Disney+

“Ozark,” Written by Laura Deeley, Bill Dubuque, Paul Kolsby, Miki Johnson, Chris Mundy, John Shiban, Ning Zhou, Martin Zimmerman; Netflix

The Crown S4. Picture shows: Princess Diana (EMMA CORRIN)

Emma Corrin in “The Crown”

Des Willie/Netflix

Comedy Series

“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Written by Larry David, Justin Hurwitz, Steve Leff, Carol Leifer, Jeff Schaffer; HBO

“The Great,” Written by Vanessa Alexander, Tony McNamara, Tess Morris, Amelia Roper, Gretel Vella, James Wood; Hulu

“PEN15,” Written by; Alyssa DiMari, Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Josh Levine, Gabe Liedman, Rachele Lynn, Vera Santamaria, Diana Tay, Sam Zvibleman; Hulu

“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+ WINNER

“What We Do in the Shadows,” Written by Jake Bender, Jemaine Clement, Zach Dunn, Joe Furey, Shana Gohd, Sam Johnson, Chris Marcil, William Meny, Sarah Naftalis, Stefani Robinson, Marika Sawyer, Paul Simms; FX Networks

New Series

“Dave,” Written by Dave Burd, Vanessa McGee, Saladin Patterson, Luvh Rakhe, Alex Russell, Jeff Schaffer, Max Searle, Yamara Taylor; FX Networks

“The Flight Attendant,” Written by Kara Lee Corthron, Michael Foley, Ryan Jennifer Jones, Ticona S. Joy, Meredith Lavender, Jess Meyer, Daniele Nathanson, Marcie Ulin, Ian Weinreich, Steve Yockey; HBO Max

“The Great,” Written by Vanessa Alexander, Tony McNamara, Tess Morris, Amelia Roper, Gretel Vella, James Wood; Hulu

“Lovecraft Country,” Written by Misha Green, Shannon Houston, Jonathan Kidd, Kevin Lau, Ihuoma Ofordire, Wes Taylor, Sonya Winton; HBO

“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+ WINNER

Mrs. America

Margo Martindale, Elizabeth Banks, and Uzo Aduba in “Mrs. America”

Sabrina Lantos / FX

Original Long Form

“Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story,” Written by Aaron Carew, Alexandra Cunningham, Lex Edness, Kevin J. Hynes, Juliet Lashinsky-Revene, Stacy A. Littlejohn, Katherine B. McKenna; USA

“Hollywood,” Written by Ian Brennan, Janet Mock, Ryan Murphy, Reilly Smith; Netflix

“Mrs. America,” Written by Tanya Barfield, Joshua Griffith, Sharon Hoffman, Boo Killebrew, Micah Schraft, April Shih, Dahvi Waller; FX Networks WINNER

“Safety,” Written by Nick Santora; Disney+

“Uncle Frank,” Written by Alan Ball; Amazon Studios

Adapted Long Form

“Bad Education,” Written by Mike Makowsky, Based on the New York Magazine article ” The Bad Superintendent” by Robert Kolker; HBO

“Clouds,” Screenplay by Kara Holden; Story by Casey La Scala & Patrick Kopka and Kara Holden, Based on the book entitled “Fly A Little Higher’ by Laura Sobiech; Disney+

“The Good Lord Bird,” Written by Jeff Augustin, Ethan Hawke, Erika L. Johnson, Mark Richard, Kristen SaBerre, Lauren Signorino, Based on the Novel by James McBride; Showtime

“Little Fires Everywhere,” Written by Harris Danow, Rosa Handelman, Shannon Houston, Attica Locke, Raamla Mohamed, Amy Talkington, Liz Tigelaar, Nancy Won, Based on the book by Celeste Ng; Hulu

“The Queen’s Gambit,” Written by Scott Frank, Allan Scott, Based on the novel by Walter Tevis; Netflix WINNER

Animation

“A Springfield Summer Christmas For Christmas” (“The Simpsons”), Written by Jessica Conrad; Fox

“Bart The Bad Guy” (“The Simpsons”), Written by Dan Vebber; Fox

“I, Carumbus” (“The Simpsons”), Written by Cesar Mazariegos; Fox

“Prank You for Being A Friend” (“Bob’s Burgers”), Written by Katie Crown; Fox

“Three Dreams Denied” (“The Simpsons”), Written by Danielle Weisberg; Fox

“Xerox of a Xerox” (“BoJack Horseman”), Written by Nick Adams; Netflix WINNER

Episodic Drama

“Bad Choice Road” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC

“Fire Pink” (“Ozark”), Written by Miki Johnson; Netflix WINNER

“JMM” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Alison Tatlock; AMC

“Raised by Wolves” (“Raised by Wolves”), Written by Aaron Guzikowski; HBO Max

“Something Unforgivable” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Peter Gould & Ariel Levine; AMC

“Trouble Don’t Last Always” (“Euphoria”), Written by Sam Levinson; HBO

The Great

“The Great”

Hulu

Episodic Comedy

“Grandma & Chill” (“Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens”), Written by Kyle Lau; Comedy Central

“The Great” (“The Great”), Written by Tony McNamara; Hulu WINNER

“It’s Not You, It’s Me” (“Dead to Me”), Written by Liz Feldman & Kelly Hutchinson; Netflix

“Pilot” (“Ted Lasso”), Teleplay by Jason Sudeikis & Bill Lawrence, Story by Jason Sudeikis & Bill Lawrence & Brendan Hunt & Joe Kelly; Apple TV+

“The Tank” (“Grace & Frankie”), Written by Alex Kavallierou; Netflix

“Trick” (“High Maintenance”), Written by Isaac Oliver; HBO

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 WINNER

“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” Writers: Kristen Bartlett, Samantha Bee, Pat Cassels, Sean Crespo, Mike Drucker, Mathan Erhardt, Joe Grossman, Miles Kahn, Sahar Rizvi, Chris Thompson, Holly Walker, Alison Zeidman, Special Materials by: Michael Rhoa; TBS

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Writers: Johnathan Appel, Ali Barthwell, Tim Carvell, Liz Hynes, Greg Iwinski, Mark Kramer, Daniel O’Brien, John Oliver, Owen Parsons, Charlie Redd, Joanna Rothkopf, Chrissy Shackelford, Ben Silva, Seena Vali; HBO

“Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Head Writer: Alex Baze Writing Supervised by: Seth Reiss Closer Look Writing Supervised by: Sal Gentile Writers: Jermaine Affonso, Karen Chee, Bryan Donaldson, Matt Goldich, Dina Gusovsky, Jenny Hagel, Allison Hord, Mike Karnell, John Lutz, Seth Meyers, Ian Morgan, John Mulaney, Amber Ruffin, Mike Scollins, Mike Shoemaker, Ben Warheit, Jeff Wright; NBC

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Head Writers: Ariel Dumas, Jay Katsir Writers: Delmonte Bent, Michael Brumm, River Clegg, Aaron Cohen, Nicole Conlan, Stephen T. Colbert, 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; CBS

Comedy/Variety Specials

“30 Rock: A One-Time Special,” Written by Tina Fey & Robert Carlock; NBC

“Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish),” Written by Nancy Meyers; YouTube

“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 WINNER

“Yearly Departed,” Head Writer: Bess Kalb Writers: Karen Chee, Akilah Green, Franchesca Ramsey, Jocelyn Richard; Amazon Studios

Comedy/Variety Sketch Series

“At Home with Amy Sedaris,” Writers: Jeremy Beiler, Cole Escola, Peter Grosz, Amy Sedaris; truTV WINNER

“How To with John Wilson,” Writers: Alice Gregory, Michael Koman, John Wilson; HBO

“The Amber Ruffin Show,” Head Writer: Jenny Hagel Writers: Demi Adejuyigbe, Shantira Jackson, Dewayne Perkins, Amber Ruffin; Peacock Originals

Documentary Script – Current Events

“Agents of Chaos, Part I,” Written by Alex Gibney & Michael J. Palmer; HBO Documentary Films

“Agents of Chaos, Part II,” Written by Alex Gibney & Michael J. Palmer; HBO Documentary Films WINNER

“The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden” (“Frontline”), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

“Whose Vote Counts” (“Frontline”), Written by Jelani Cobb, June Cross & Tom Jennings; PBS

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe in “Agents of Chaos”

HBO

Documentary Script – Other Than Current Events

“Opioids, Inc” (“Frontline”), Written by Tom Jennings; PBS WINNER

“The Poison Squad” (“American Experience”), Written by John Maggio; PBS

“The Violence Paradox” (“Nova”), Written by Michael Bicks and Anna Lee Strachan; PBS

News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, or Breaking Report

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 WINNER

“Critical Condition” (“60 Minutes”), Written by Katie Kerbstat Jacobson, Scott Pelley, Nicole Young; CBS News

“Gale Sayers Obit,” Written by Joe McLaughlin; WCBS-TV

“The Wild West of Covid Testing” (“60 Minutes”), Written by Sharyn Alfonsi, Oriana Zill de Granados, Emily Gordon; CBS News

News Script – Analysis, Feature, or Commentary

“Exhume the Truth” (“60 Minutes”), Written by Katie Kerbstat Jacobson, Scott Pelley, Joe Schanzer, Nicole Young; CBS News

“Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming,” Written by Dave Bloch; ABC News WINNER

“The African Basketball Trail” (“60 Minutes”), Written by Oriana Zill de Granados, Emily Gordon, Jon Wertheim; CBS News

Digital News

“Pornhub Doesn’t Care,” Written by Samantha Cole and Emanuel Maiberg; Vice.com

“This Week Has Happened Before,” Written by Julia Craven; Slate.com

“The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd,” Written by Aymann Ismail; Slate.com WINNER

“Why Did the Government Separate This Family?” Written by Jeremy Stahl; Slate.com

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Awards and tagged ,


Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox