The effects of the Writers Guild of America strike were felt during the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards, which aired on MTV Sunday night (May 7th). After Drew Barrymore dropped out of hosting the event “in solidarity with the strike,” the executive producer announced they were moving to a pre-taped show instead.
With no live show and two hours of airtime to fill, the awards show featured a significant amount of “flashback” footage, including Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, P!nk, and Mya performing "Lady Marmalade" from the Moulin Rogue! Soundtrack in 2001, NSYNC performing “It’s Gonna Be Me” in 2000, and TLC performing “Waterfalls” from the 1995 show.
Viewers took to Twitter to express their confusion about the show’s format this year. “Is this not the typical mtv movie awards lmao ? I’m so lost #MTVAwards,” one person wrote. Another commented, “This is giving 2020 everyone at home because of covid vibes #MTVAwards.”
The Last of Us was the big winner of the evening, taking home three awards in total, including Best Show. Pedro Pascal won Best Hero and Best Duo as well. He accepted Best Duo alongside Bella Ramsey.
Stranger Things followed close behind with two awards in total, including Best Kick-Ass Cast, while Joseph Quinn won the award for Breakthrough Performance. Jenna Ortega took home the golden popcorn for Best Performance in a Show for her role in Wednesday.
As for film, Scream VI had the most wins, taking home Best Movie and Best Fight. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise won Best Performance in a Movie for his role in Top Gun: Maverick. He accepted this award in the exact same way that he honored King Charles III — through a video recording of him flying a plane.
It was a big night for Jennifer Coolidge as well, for she was honored with the Comedic Genius Award and took home Most Frightened Performance for her role in The White Lotus. A montage highlighted her numerous roles over the years, including in Best in Show, Legally Blonde, and American Pie.
Many made sure to mention the WGA strike in their acceptance speeches, including Coolidge, Quinn, and Pascal.
Barrymore reprised her role as Josie Keller from Never Been Kissed in a pre-taped segment. She also played Barbie’s “super supportive sister” Skipper, who was inserted into the trailer for the new movie. The Drew Barrymore Show host took home the golden popcorn for Best Host as well.
See the full list of winners below:
The Last of Us
Best Performance in a Movie
Tom Cruise — Top Gun: Maverick
Best Performance in a Show
Jenna Ortega — Wednesday
Pedro Pascal — The Last of Us
Elizabeth Olsen — Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Madison Bailey + Rudy Pankow — Outer Banks
Best Comedic Performance
Adam Sandler — Murder Mystery 2
Joseph Quinn — Stranger Things
Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers) vs. Ghostface — Scream VI
Most Frightened Performance
Jennifer Coolidge — The White Lotus
Pedro Pascal + Bella Ramsey — The Last of Us
Best Kick-Ass Cast
Taylor Swift — “Carolina” (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Best Docu-Reality Series
Best Competition Series
RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars
Drew Barrymore – The Drew Barrymore Show
Best Reality Onscreen Team
Ariana Madix, Katie Maloney, Scheana Shay, LaLa Kent — Vanderpump Rules
Best Music Documentary
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me
Best Musical Moment
Purple Hearts — “Come Back Home”
Pedro Pascal Accepts the Award for Best Hero
["I want to say thank you, MYV movie and TV awards. I am a child of mtv. I grew up on MTV. This means the absolute world to me. The people at mtv told me that 77.5 million people voted this year. Which blows my mind and just makes it such an honor. I wish he could all be together so that I can look into your eyes and tell you that all young people in the world are my heroes and I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. I want to say that you deserve a world that serves your interests. You deserve to be healthy. You deserve to be safe. You deserve for your individual rights to be fought for and protected. You deserve real heroes in this world because you are real heroes to me. And I love you. Thank you. Thank you."] SOUNDCUE 1:01 OC….you thank you]]
Tom Cruise Accepts the Award for Best Performance in a Movie
["Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for this award. I make these films for you. I love you. I love entertaining you. How much you enjoy it, how much you appreciate it. There is no better feeling and I hope you enjoy this. Dead reckoning coming out in July. It's a wild ride. Have a wonderful summer. Thank you again for letting me entertain you. It's an absolute privilege. We'll see you at the movies."] SOUNDCUE :49 OC…at the movies]]
Jennifer Coolidge Accepts the Comedic Genius Award
["Thank you. Thank you, mtv. Thank you for honoring me with this incredible comedic genius award. Wow. It's even more special. Because I was in the growings with Melissa Mccarthy and will Ferrell. Now I get to be in the club with them and Sacha baron Cohen and Kevin hart and Jack Black. My god. What a fun night. I am sure you know this. Actually you probably don't. The reason why I'm so thrilled, it's ironic that this award would be made of my favorite food, popcorn. Almost all great comedy starts with great writers. I just think as a proud member of S.A.G., I stand here before you tonight side-by-side with my sisters and brothers from the WGA that are fighting right now, fighting for the rights of artists everywhere. I think of the words of Shakespeare where he once said, you know, the play is the thing. Well, I don't want to put words in his mouth or anything but I think what he really meant was it's everything!"] SOUNDCUE 1:30 OC…was it's everything]]
Joseph Quinn Accepts the Award for Breakthrough Performance
["Hello, everyone. Hope are you well having a nice time. Sorry can't be there. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who voted for me. It's a sweet thing. The fact that these awards are voted for by fans makes it feel especially sweet. An I owe a lot to you all. I had some amazing experiences over the last year, none of which would've happened without your support so I'm incredibly grateful for you. Little bit scared of you.Ultimately I am utterly, utterly indebted to you. Thank you. I don't think people would connect with a character like this in the universe without compassion, intelligent, quality writing. Being a writer is a hard job. I think the more we respect each other we can cultivate a Kinder, more inclusive environment for everyone. Wouldn't that be nice? Thanks again to everyone who voted. I'm very, very, very appreciative. Thank you."] SOUNDCUE 1:02 OC…appreciative thank you]]
Ariana Madix, Katie Maloney, Scheana Shay, LaLa Kent Accept the Award for Best Reality Onscreen Team
["Wow. Best on-screen team. Thank you so much, MTV, and especially to everyone that voted for us. The team isn't just us. I mean, we have an entire production team behind us that makes the show possible. This is just so exciting. We won best team all because of you guys, the fans. Thank you so much for voting. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We have been through so many ups and downs. A tumultuous time in all of our lives. We are truly at our best when we come together as a team. So thank you! We did it. Hello, my loves. Thank you all for voting for me and my most favorite girls. Sheen Katie, Ariana, We are beyond grateful. This is crazy. Again, thank you guys so much."] SOUNDCUE 1:04 OC…guys so much]]
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey Accept the Award for Best Duo
["Bella, if you want your golden popcorn, you have to come and get it. That way I can see you again. I miss you. I love you. You are the duo. You are me. I am you. We are we. We love MTV. Thank you, MTV awards. Thank you to the fans. Gosh. It feels like there isn't anything we wouldn't do for you. Because of how much you;ve embraced the show and I wish Bella and I were together. But we will be soon. So stay tuned. Thank you. We love you. Hello, MTV awards. It's Bella. I don't know what to say really. I'm not there tonight. I don't really know what to say other than thank you which I guess is all I need to say really. Thank you for having us. Best duo. Thank you for having us. All the fans who voted for us and who love the show and continued to support us and support the show. It means the world. Me and Pedro love each other deeply. I love him and I can't imagine doing this without him. So thank you for your love. Have a lovely evening. Goodbye."] SOUNDCUE 1:33 OC…lovely evening goodbye]]
Ghostface Accepts the Award for Best Fight
["Hello, MYV. It's about time someone truly appreciated my work. Too bad Gale couldn't be here but don't worry. I'll make sure she gets what she deserves. You know what they say in Hollywood. Movies don't create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative. And I am looking forward to a lot more creativity."] SOUNDCUE :27 OC…lot more creativity]]
Sofia Carson Accepts the Award for Best Musical Moment
["Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over for making "Come back home" your best musical moment. My heart is so filled with gratitude. To my fans, you're my family. This belongs to you. This is yours. Thank you for loving the song. As deeply and as lovingly as you do. I had the honor of filming this musical moment in the presence of fans that traveled from all across the country to be there with me. My heart belongs to you. Forever turned it into a beautiful shade of purple. To my director Liz and my coproducers. I will never have enough words. To my incredible close songwriters. Justine, Skye, Dan, Erin. Writing this song and soundtrack was one of the scariest yet most beautiful experiences. I poured my heart into this music. Let my fears show till I can face them and let my tears go until I can taste them. Netflix family, thank you. Most of all, To my mom and my Dad, everything begins and ends with you. Thank you, MTV. I will cherish this forever. My purple heart is yours."] SOUNDCUE 1:23 OC…heart is yours]]
Drew Barrymore Accepts the Award for Best Host
["Hello, hello. Thank you so much. I can't believe this. Thank you for letting me in. Get eyeball to eyeball. Thank you for this whole show. This whole world being — thank you. Thank you so much. Oh, my goodness. Okay. Also I want to thank Chelsey, Christina, Liz, our amazing, amazing writers. Her this is definitely for them and every single person who makes the show. There is no I, just ours and we."] SOUNDCUE :46 OC…ours and we]]