Monday, January 7, 2008

I wouldn't want to be a Golden Globe nominee this year...

For movie awards season junkies like myself, it doesn't look good. It's likely there won't be a Golden Globes awards telecast this Sunday as scheduled. NBC is set to announce its final decision today.

The problem stems from a pledge from the Screen Actors Guild to boycott this weekend's scheduled Golden Globe Awards if the writers form a picket line in front of the awards show. The writers have promised to picket any televised awards show that uses scab writers. If the event isn't televised, the writers won't picket it.

The producers and studios are playing hard ball in this ongoing strike, refusing to hold meaningful talks for weeks. Of course, this has caused considerable pain in Hollywood's film community and elsewhere. As productions have been shut down, everyone has found themselves out of work. Yet the issue of profit-sharing is vital. Most writers already get only a tiny sliver from considerable Hollywood profits. Writers are fighting to ensure they get a bigger share of any profits from new media, which could end up being huge in the years ahead. As a screenwriter who hopes to be a member of the WGA one day, I support the writers 100 per cent.

But still it will be painful if the Golden Globes telecast is cancelled this Sunday. This show sets the tone for the rest of the awards season which ends with the Oscars in late February. The race to the Oscars keeps many a queer film fan's heart warm during the winter months. The heterosexual equivalent would be cancelling the SuperBowl.

Still as a strategy, the striking writers are brilliant. Shutting down major awards shows hurts the producers and the networks the most, which rely on the advertising revenue and the publicity to boost sales for their products. Perhaps the lost profits will give them a needed taste of their own medicine.

I do feel for those Globe nominees though. Such televised accolades are the stuff of dreams. To have the awards show shut down in their year must be truly painful. However, most nominees are extremely smart people and they likely all agree the long-term benefits of showing solidarity with their writing colleagues is more important.

We'll see if the producers budge in time for the Oscar ceremony in late February. If the writers choose to picket that ceremony as well, that would truly put actors' and other film professionals' solidarity to the test.


Indeed, NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have decided to drop the awards ceremony for this Sunday's Golden Globes. Instead of the traditional show featuring a boozy, glitzy dinner party and awards presentation, the event would be covered as a news event in a series of NBC specials, according to a Los Angeles Times report that cited an NBC memo e-mailed to movie studios.

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