Hollywood writers strike clouds Oscars

Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:32pm EST
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In the 80 years since the first Oscars were handed out, it has taken a war or a flood or an assassination to drastically alter or delay the celebration surrounding the film industry's highest honors.

Now Hollywood is wringing its hands over whether the 11-week-old strike by screenwriters against the major studios could, or should, be enough to postpone the Academy Awards this year.

More than a week after the writers strike yanked the red carpet out from under the Golden Globes, reducing that ceremony to a 30-minute news conference, Oscar organizers insisted on Tuesday their show will go on as scheduled on February 24.

"We're dealing with contingencies, but we're full steam ahead," said Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, moments after nominations for the 80th annual event were announced in Beverly Hills.

"The point is we're going to have a show, and we're going to give these incredible artists what they're due," he added. "We're going to present Oscars on February 24."

Whether the usual star-studded, three-hour-plus live telecast of the event will have to be scaled back in some way remains to be seen.

The Writers Guild of America has threatened to picket the event, barring a settlement of the strike it launched on November 5 against the major film and TV studios. And its sister union, the Screen Actors Guild, has said its members would stay home rather than cross picket lines to attend the Oscars.


<p>An Oscar statue is on display at announcement of nominations for 80th Academy Awards in California, January 22, 2008. The Oscars will be presented February 24, 2008 in Hollywood, California. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>