Striking Hollywood writers target Oscars and Globes
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Oscars are still two months away but the world's top film awards ceremony found itself embroiled on Tuesday in the worst Hollywood labor clash in two decades.
The screenwriters union, on strike since November 5 against major movie and TV studios, said it would deny waivers that would allow producers of the Academy Awards, as well as the Golden Globe Awards, to hire union writers for their shows.
Organizers of both awards said their shows would go on with or without the blessing of the Writers Guild of America. But the WGA's action raised the possibility that some Hollywood stars, who are members of the Screen Actors Guild, might boycott the awards in sympathy with the WGA's strike.
Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said it was too soon to say how the 80th annual Academy Awards on February 24 would be affected.
Producers of the Oscars gala, which usually ranks as a top-rated TV broadcast, might seek an interim agreement with the WGA that would free the ceremony of sanctions. "There are any number of possible options we might explore," Unger said.
For now, the waiver denial means that unless the strike is settled, the globally televised ceremony will be treated by the union as a "struck company," and someone other than WGA members must write material delivered by performers and presenters.
The same is true for the Golden Globes telecast, which is set for January 13, although producers of that show, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, said they also would seek talks with the WGA for an interim deal.
The WGA also is refusing to grant the Oscars the right to use movie clips from past shows without paying residual fees. Continued...