News

Writers strike cancels Golden Globes ceremony

Korin Miller
AM New York (MCT)

So much for the glitz and glamour of the Golden Globes.

As actors threaten to boycott the show because of the ongoing screenwriters strike, the 65th Annual Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday is being reduced to a glorified news conference.

The network will now broadcast an hour-long news conference announcing the winners on Sunday at 9 p.m. EST, according to Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organizes the Globes. Then at 10 p.m., NBC will air a post-awards "party show."

"It's a victory for us," WGA spokeswoman Sherry Goldman said via phone from the picket lines yesterday. Victory or no, the Globes' possible reformation was news to Goldman: "Since we didn't grant (NBC and Dick Clark Productions) a waiver a month ago, they're not really talking to us."

This is a huge departure from the emotional acceptance speeches and suspense of past years.

"It's still a great award," pointed out Howard Rubenstein, of Rubenstein Public Relations. "There will be a lot of publicity, but the publicity will be diminished dramatically. It's really a shame because it's one of the best moments in the entertainment field."

This would be the first time since the Globes inception in 1944 that the usual awards show will not be held.

"We are all very disappointed that our traditional awards ceremony will not take place this," said Jorge Camara, President of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The ceremony, which has faced boycott threats from actors who do not want to cross picket lines - including Keira Knightley and George Clooney - did not have a host scheduled this year.

Hollywood screenwriters have been striking since Nov. 5 for an increased share of profits from Internet and new media sales.

Talks regarding the Globe have broken down among the striking Writers Guild of America, NBC and Dick Clark Productions.

Mark Graham, managing editor of showbiz blog Defamer.com, said the viewers; Steven Spielberg, this year's Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award recipient; and the studios are the ones who will be hurt the most. "Studios really rely on the Golden Globes for the Hollywood releases," he said. "That's usually when they establish themselves."

But Graham added, most of Hollywood has been in the dark over what will become of this year's show: "Everyone doesn't know what's going on." The Screen Actors Guild told the Associated Press on Friday that it appeared all of the nominated actors planned to boycott the ceremony. Letters from their publicists backed up the statement.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been scrambling for a solution for the past month after talks broke down with the WGA. The Association initially hoped to reach an interim deal for the awards show, similar to the one given to the "Late Show with David Letterman."

___

No major entertainment awards ceremony in the United States has ever been canceled, though significant events have caused their postponement.

The Academy Awards, which has been held continuously since 1929, were postponed three times. In 1938, flooding in Los Angeles pushed the Oscars back a week. There was a delay of two days in 1968 after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and a one-day delay after the assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981.

The Emmy Awards for television were first handed out in 1949. They were postponed twice in 2001, first after 9-11 and then again after the invasion of Afghanistan. The show eventually aired seven weeks later.

The Grammy Awards have been just as dependable. They were first awarded in 1959, and first televised in 1971, a tradition that continues unbroken to this day.

-- Justin Rocket Silverman

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