Stars may skip awards shows as strike escalates

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:46pm EST
 
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By Steven Zeitchik

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Hollywood woke up Tuesday to one weird awards season.

A day after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) indicated it would not allow producers of the Academy Awards and Golden Globes to hire striking writers for their shows, Hollywood stars and their nervous handlers wondered whether they would be able to attend two of the year's biggest events.

The Academy Awards are the more significant show from a financial and prestige standpoint, but the focus was on the Globes because they precede the February 24 Oscar ceremonies.

Many stars have made plans to attend the booze-laden Globes ceremony at the Beverly Hilton on January 13, but were ready to call off the evening if the WGA didn't grant its blessing.

"You treat this as if you're planning a vacation while your mother-in-law is ill," said publicist Stan Rosenfield, who represents Globes nominee George Clooney. "You book the flight and the hotel, and then if she's still not feeling well, you make a call and don't get on the plane. But you have to prepare for everything."

Rosenfield said many actors would not go if a picket line was in place. The topic is so sensitive that a number of publicists -- including Alan Nierob, who represents Mel Gibson and Steve Martin -- wouldn't even comment about why their clients weren't commenting.

Actors are also awaiting guidance from their union, the Screen Actors Guild. SAG president Alan Rosenberg said in a statement that his union "is in the process of reaching out to our elected leadership, and our members who have been nominated for Golden Globe awards. We will advise them of our position once we have completed that outreach."

Last week, talent had mostly come down against going under such conditions; Ernest Borgnine was among the few who sounded an enthusiastic note about attending, with most others much more circumspect. "No one wants to be the first out there," personal publicist Bebe Lerner said.   Continued...

 
<p>An Oscar statue stands outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood March 4, 2006. A day after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) indicated it would not allow producers of the Academy Awards and Golden Globes to hire striking writers for their shows, Hollywood stars and their nervous handlers wondered whether they would be able to attend two of the year's biggest events. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>