Writers Guild of America East to honor John Waters

John Waters arrives for the 57th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2015. The Writers Guild of America East says it will honor Waters with a career achievement award this winter. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Dec. 18 (UPI) — The Writers Guild of America East says it plans to present its Ian McLellan Hunter Award to filmmaker John Waters.

The creator of cult classics like Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Cry-Baby and Serial Mom will be honored at the 2017 Writers Guild Awards to be held at New York’s Edison Ballroom on Feb. 19. Lewis Black is hosting the ceremony.

“Decades ago, a critic once wrote that my screenplays ‘were merely clotheslines to hang out my dirty wash.’ I’m glad the WGAE disagrees — or maybe they DO agree, who knows? Either way, I couldn’t be more honored and excited to get this award,” Waters said in a statement.

“The metropolis of Baltimore, Md., contains multitudes: The stolid rowhouse folk of Mencken’s Heathen Days; the post-yiddishe wit of Barry Levinson‘s assimilating Diner guys; Anne Tyler’s hermetic yet idiosyncratic Roland Park; Laura Lippman’s crime narratives of Bawlmer women and their carried secrets; The Wire‘s inverse economies of the city’s poorest and most vulnerable. Good, bad and all points in between. But only John Waters has made being not right, not normal, not ordinary, nor expected seem so, well, Baltimore,” added David Simon, Waters’ fellow Baltimore native and the writer-producer who will personally present Waters with the award. “Time and again, on film and in prose and eventually on Broadway, he has celebrated the very American notion that there is, in fact, no normal. That we are all, if we are honest, at least two standard deviations from the mean. In Baltimore, it is our [expletive] birthright. I’ve shared my crew with this man. I’ve shared some cast, at points. I’ve shared some meals and jokes and the very real benefit of his having been a pioneer for a film community that has punched well beyond its weight class. But most of all, like damn near every Baltimorean, I am proud that I share a city with this fine storyteller.”

Previous recipients of the Hunter Award include Andrew Bergman, John Sayles, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Richard LaGravenese, John Patrick Shanley, Claire Labine and Nora Ephron.


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