January 3, 2008 / 12:37 AM / 10 years ago

Golden Globe backers in talks with striking writers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Officials for the Golden Globe Awards said on Wednesday they are in talks with striking TV writers to allow the widely watched film and television honors to be broadcast as planned later this month.

Robert Lord uses paint to touch up a sign in the arrivals area during preparations for the 57th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California in this January 22, 2000 file photo. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who sponsor the awards, said on January 2, 2008 that it has begun talks with TV writers aimed at allowing its honors to be broadcast as planned despite the ongoing screenwriters strike. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives the Golden Globes to film and TV actors, made the announcement as many celebrities decide whether to cross picket lines and appear at the Golden Globe telecast, which is set to air on NBC on January 13, more than a month ahead of the Oscars.

The Writers Guild of America, which represents some 10,500 striking film and TV writers, said in a separate statement that for now “the (WGA) will be picketing the Golden Globe Awards.”

The HFPA began discussions with the WGA on December 29 to get an “interim agreement” similar to the one David Letterman’s company, Worldwide Pants, reached with the WGA to put “The Late Show with David Letterman” back on the air.

“We feel that the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ agreement is very reasonable, and hope and expect the WGA will agree to the same terms,” association president Jorge Camara said in a statement.

But WorldWide Pants is an independent producer, allowing it to reach the agreement outside the WGA’s talks with major film studios and TV networks. In its statement on Wednesday, the WGA noted that Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Golden Globes telecast, remains “a struck company.”

WGA members have been on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) since November over issues including fees paid to them for DVDs and potential profits from work appearing on the Internet.

Contract talks stalled in early December and since then, many TV productions have halted. The People’s Choice Awards changed its format from a typical awards show in front of a live audience to a prerecorded telecast with a “magazine”-style format that does not utilize striking writers.

But the People’s Choice honors are minor compared to the more glamorous Golden Globe Awards, one of Hollywood’s biggest ceremonies, and the world’s top film honors, the Oscars, which are given out in February.

Top film and TV stars turn out for the award shows, but this year, with Hollywood’s screenwriters on strike, many stars have been wavering on whether to cross WGA picket lines. The WGA said last month it would not allow union members to write material for the Golden Globe Awards.

Also on Wednesday, the Screen Actors Guild, which represents film and TV actors and actresses, issued a statement saying that until the HFPA and WGA can come to an agreement, “we will advise our members of their rights with respect to not crossing WGA picket lines and/or not appearing on programs using non-union writers.”

Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; editing by Jill Serjeant and Todd Eastham

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