SAG: Actors likely to snub Golden Globes

January 5, 2008 4:49:06 PM PST
Golden Globe-nominated actors are expected to snub the awards in support of striking Hollywood writers, the actors union said Friday, jeopardizing one of the entertainment industry's signature showcases. NBC, however, said it was sticking by its plans to air the Jan. 13 ceremony, despite the uncertainty about how much - if any - star power the Globes could muster.

"The network plans to move forward with the broadcast at this point," NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said, adding that it has yet to be determined which actors will participate.

Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg made the announcement after canvassing nominees during the past several weeks.

"There appears to be unanimous agreement that these actors will not cross" the picket lines to present or accept an award, he said in a prepared statement.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organizes the awards, said it was wrestling with the "unfortunate predicament."

"We are making every effort to work out a solution that will permit the Golden Globes to take place with the creative community present to participate," Jorge Camara, the group's president, said in a statement.

The association hoped to announce a resolution Monday, Camara said.

The writers strike, which began Nov. 5, has broad implications for the way Hollywood does business. Whatever deal is struck by writers on payment for shows offered on the Internet could affect talks with actors and directors, whose contracts expire next June.

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

On Friday, a dozen publicity firms representing what they called a majority of Golden Globe-nominated actors, writers and directors, as well as many stars invited to appear as presenters, released a letter sent to NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker.

"After much discussion with our clients, we have concluded the vast majority of the talent we represent are not comfortable crossing a picket line," the letter said.

The stars would appear only if NBC and dick clark productions, which produces the show, reaches an interim agreement with the writers guild, the publicists told Zucker.

The Clark company lashed out at the guild in a statement Friday, citing repeated efforts to reach an interim agreement akin to the union deal with another independent company, Worldwide Pants, which produces David Letterman's show.

"We are disappointed that the WGA has refused to bargain with us in good faith. It is apparent that we are being treated differently from similarly situated production companies," the Clark company said.

An e-mail request for guild comment was not immediately answered.

Meanwhile, writers guild President Patric M. Verrone lauded the move by actors and said the "entire awards show season is being put in jeopardy by the intransigence of a few big media corporations."

In his statement, Verrone urged studios to resume talks that broke off Dec. 7.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios in negotiations, did not immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment.

The Writers Guild of America had refused to