Hanks urges end to writers' strike

LONDON (Reuters) - Actor Tom Hanks is keen to see the Oscar ceremony held as usual, and urged studios to return to the negotiating table to end a writers’ strike that threatens to disrupt the climax of Hollywood’s awards season.

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The Golden Globe ceremony scheduled for Sunday has already been scrapped, and will be replaced by a news conference few stars are likely to attend. The People’s Choice Awards were also scaled back and subsequently bombed in the television ratings.

Now all eyes are on the Academy Awards, the movie world’s biggest night, which are due to take place on February 24.

“The show must go on, that is one of the tenets of everything,” Hanks told Reuters in London.

“I am a member of the board of governors of the Academy, and we definitely want to put on a great show and honor the films that have come out in the course of the year,” he said on the red carpet at the premiere of his film “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

Hanks said corporate bosses should remember that many people, from carpenters to caterers, were suffering as a result of the strike by about 10,500 Writers Guild of America members over their dispute with major film and TV studios.

“There are caterers and carpenters ... and electricians and gaffers,” the 51-year-old said. “There are a lot of people out there associated with the industry, for whom the sooner this work stoppage is over the better.

“I just hope that the big guys who make big decisions up high in their corporate boardrooms and what not get down to honest bargaining and everyone can get back to work.”

The star of box office hits “Forrest Gump” and “The Da Vinci Code,” and twice a best actor Oscar winner, added that a shift in the way screenwriters were rewarded for their work was needed in the Internet age.

“The delivery systems, the revenue streams, just the very presentation media is now going to be a brand new place,” he said in a brief interview on Thursday.

One of the key issues in the ongoing writers’ dispute is how they will earn money when their work appears on the Internet.

Warner Bros has told about 1,000 television and film production workers that an unspecified number of layoffs will soon be announced due to the strike.