LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Screen Actors Guild on Friday said nearly all its members will refuse to cross striking writers’ picket lines at the upcoming Golden Globe Awards, throwing Hollywood’s award season deeper into doubt.
Award nominees such as Julia Roberts and Johnny Depp would be key draws for audiences of the film and television honors on January 13, and could be nominated and appear for the world’s top film honors, the Oscars, in February.
If they, or other A-list actors, fail to appear, industry watchers think the Golden Globes may not air as scheduled. The Writers Guild of America, which represents the writers, also has barred its members from writing for the Oscars, but SAG’s Friday announcement pertained only to the Golden Globe Awards.
“After considerable outreach to Golden Globe actor nominees and their representatives over the past several weeks, there appears to be unanimous agreement that these actors will not cross WGA picket lines,” SAG President Alan Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg also said SAG has asked members about appearing on late-night talk shows that remain subject to the strike. In the case of programs such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O‘Brien,” SAG members also appear unanimous in not wanting to cross picket lines.
A representative for NBC, which broadcasts the Golden Globes as well as “Tonight Show” and “Late Night” was not immediately available to comment.
Earlier this week, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the Golden Globes, said it was in talks with the WGA to seek an “interim agreement” that would allow it to air as scheduled. The WGA, however, said that for now it would continue with its plan to picket the show.
On Friday, HFPA president Jorge Camara said a fix to the problem might come as soon as Monday.
“We are making every effort to work out a solution that will permit the Golden Globes to take place with the creative community present,” Camara said. “We hope to announce a resolution to this unfortunate predicament on Monday.”
Patrick Verrone, president of the WGA, West, said writers were grateful for SAG’s ”solidarity and support.
Some 10,500 WGA members went on strike against major U.S. film studios and television networks in early November over issues that included increased fees for their work when it appears on DVDs and on the Internet.
Since then, Hollywood’s awards season has been crippled with the People’s Choice Awards changing its format from a live audience show to a magazine-style interview program and the Golden Globes and Oscars in jeopardy.
TV production of scripted dramas and comedies has come to a virtual halt, some film production has ended, and late-night talk shows went off the air for roughly eight weeks before returning this week to much media fanfare.
Talk show host David Letterman reached its own “interim agreement” with the WGA that allowed “The Late Show with David Letterman” to return to the air with WGA working writers because Letterman’s company, Worldwide Pants, is an independent producer.
Rosenberg said SAG was urging its members to appear on Letterman’s show and on another Worldwide Pants talk program, “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”