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Indie Spirits get WGA waiver

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The WGA has granted a waiver to Film Independent's Spirit Awards that will allow the indie-oriented awards ceremony, which will be broadcast live by IFC, to go forward as planned on Feb. 23.

Film Independent said Thursday that Rainn Wilson, who plays salesman Dwight Schrute on the office, will be host this year's show and also contribute as a writer on the program.

The waiver raises the possibility that the informal Spirit ceremony, which takes place in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, could upstage the 80th annual Academy Awards, scheduled for the following day at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland if the strike is not resolved by late February. The WGA has signaled that it does not plan to grant a similar waiver to allow the Oscar show to use WGA writers, which means that some stars could feel free to attend the Spirit Awards but might then bypass the Oscars.

In addition to being broadcast live and unedited on IFC, the often bawdy Spirit event will be rebroadcast the same day in an edited version on AMC.