Earlier today the Writers Guild of America held a general meeting to discuss whether or not they would grant waivers for members to attend awards shows and accept their awards. As it turns out, the chance for waivers went down in a plume of smoke, as the notified the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark productions that their requests for an agreement to allow writers to prepare material for the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards show have been denied.
Commenting about the decision, WGA West President Patric M. Verrone had this to say:
“Writers are engaged in a crucial struggle to achieve a collective bargaining agreement that will protect their compensation and intellectual property rights now and in the future. We must do everything we can to bring our negotiations to a swift and fair conclusion for the benefit of writers and all those who are being harmed by the companies’ failure to engage in serious negotiations.”
The report from United Hollywood also stated that members will conduct black-tie pickets at the various awards shows; any nominee who wins an award but chooses not to cross the picket line will have the choice to accept the award on the line, with their acceptance broadcast live on the Internet.
SAG President Alan Rosenberg, who was in attendance for the meeting, was said to have applauded the announcement — which could be a sign that the Screen Actors may not be far behind in the Awards Show boycotting.
This news ultimately supports a discussion that has been raging here at FSR for a little while now. In a post from December 14, our own Maggie Van Ostrand commented on whether or not the strike would have an adverse effect on this year’s Oscar ceremony. Based on what we are seeing regarding the Golden Globes ceremony, we can only speculate that a picketing of good ole’ Oscar is next. Also, will the Academy be treated differently than the HFPA. Should they ask for a waiver, if they were to receive it, we would have quite a controversy on our hands.
Ultimately, this issue continues to compound with the fact that very little progress has been made towards resolving this strike. And as our Robert Fure pointed out, it is costing denizens of the film industry countless jobs and untold amounts of money — and we aren’t talking about John Travolta having to sell his jet — we are talking about the blue collar workers of Hollywood who are struggling to provide for their families.
In the end, the situation surrounding the strike is only getting worse. What’s worse yet is the fact that these writers who will be held up as the best in their field, will miss their opportunity to be properly recognized. Even sadder is the fact that their acceptance speeches will be absent from the broadcasts — theirs are the only ones that seem to be well thought out. Now we have to sit there while a bunch of uppity actors spew politics from Oscar’s stage — yikes!