Hollywood Labor strike effects award shows

January 3, 2008 5:45:15 PM PST
Talk about star power: The success of Hollywood's awards season sits squarely on the shoulders of celebrities. With no new talks scheduled in the 10-week Writers Guild of America strike, stars would have to cross picket lines to attend the Golden Globe awards - and industry insiders say that's unlikely.

Seventy-two actors are among this year's Golden Globe nominees. The writers guild promises to picket the Jan. 13 ceremony, despite repeated efforts by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Globes, to seek the group's blessing.

"It's simple: no one is going to cross the picket line," said Kelly Bush, chief executive officer of ID, a public-relations and marketing firm that represents dozens of Golden Globe nominees. "We have a lot of first-time nominees and they would love to be there to celebrate their great year, but they're not going to cross the picket line and they totally support the writers."

Many actors have been supportive of their striking colleagues, but some are still conflicted about attending the Golden Globes.

Best-actor nominee Denzel Washington, a WGA supporter, said he was hoping the strike would be resolved before the Golden Globes so he wouldn't be faced with the decision of whether or not to attend.

"The writers deserve to get their slice," he said. "If the studios (are) making money on something that the writer wrote and the actor acted in and the director directed, then those people deserve to make money too."

Sarah Jessica Parker, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for "Sex and the City," said her camp had been in early talks for her to potentially appear as an awards presenter but that the strike put that prospect in limbo.

"It's hard to imagine crossing a picket line. Getting all dressed up and crossing the picket line," said Parker, who recently finished shooting her big-screen version of "Sex and the City," due out next summer. "I'm hoping every day, regardless of awards season or not, that they come to some agreement to end the strike."

David Cronenberg, director of best-picture nominee "Eastern Promises" and a writers guild member, said he would not cross a picket line to attend the Globes.

"I think it's on everybody's mind. I can't imagine there's anybody who's not thinking about that," he said. "It's going to be like that for every televised awards show anyway, that's for sure. It's a depressing situation."

NBC still planned to broadcast the show, which is being produced by dick clark productions for the HFPA. All three organizations declined to comment Thursday.

The Golden Globes show brings in a reported $5 million for the HFPA and millions more in advertising revenue for the network.

Dinner and party plans were still moving forward as well, with lavish bashes planned by several studios.

Some industry insiders have suggested that the Golden Globes could be saved by scrapping the telecast.

Jeff Hermanson, assistant executive director of WGA West, said pickets will be in place if the Globes are televised in any way.

"If it was going to be strictly a party - wasn't taped, wasn't broadcast - we would have no reason to picket," he said, adding that studio after-parties would not be a target for pickets. "We want people to enjoy themselves and have a good time. We're sorry that we're put in this position to have to contemplate picketing an awards show by companies that refuse to bargain."