Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Golden Globes Cancelled

By now I am sure that all of you have heard about the latest causality of the writers' Strike. NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have announced that the usual ceremony will be replaced by a news conference because the Screen Actors Guild had announced its intention of not crossing the Writers Guild of America's picket lines. Sunday they issued this statement:

"We are all very disappointed that our traditional awards ceremony will not take place this year and that millions of viewers worldwide will be deprived of seeing many of their favourite stars celebrating 2007's outstanding achievements in motion pictures and television. We take some comfort, however, in knowing that this year's Golden Globe Award recipients will be announced on the date originally scheduled."

I have to admit that I am a bit disappointed that the Golden Globes ceremony was cancelled. I have always enjoyed watching the Golden Globes, seeing who wins and who loses. Here I must state that while I enjoy watching the ceremony, I have never particularly held the Golden Globes in high esteem. Ultimately, it seems to me that The Hollywood Foreign Press Association only numbers about 80 to 90 people in all, and they are not a part of the industry in the way that, say, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is.

Indeed,the announcement they issued about the Golden Globes ceremony being replaced by a press conference makes me respect the Golden Globe awards even less. Maybe I am reading to much into it, but it seems to me that in between the lines they are vilifying the writers for being on strike and causing the Golden Globes ceremony to be scrapped. Personally, I think the demands of the Writers Guild of America outweigh the Golden Globes ceremony in matter of importance. The writers are simply asking for 2.5% of any profits the industry makes on sales of digital media, and a bigger slice of the profits from DVD sales. Given that writers make only 4 cents out of every DVD and VHS tape sold and, insofar as I know, nothing on sales of digital media, I wholeheartedly support the WGA's decision to strike. To me all they are asking for is their fair share.

Of course, the cancellation of the Golden Globes ceremony has had a huge impact on Hollywood. According to Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, in an AP story, the Golden Globe Awards bring $70-$80 million to Los Angeles' economy. The Golden Globe awards means money for Los Angeles in the form of hotel bookings, limousine services, catering, and so on. And because NBC will have exclusive access for coverage of the Golden Globes news conference, other media outlets will miss out on the revenue that covering the Golden Globes brings. In some respects, the cancellation of the Golden Globe awards ceremony is the biggest impact the writers' strike has had so far.

I do feel sorry for those actors who were invited to the Golden Globes ceremony for the first time, people like Casey Affleck, Nikki Blonsky, and Amy Ryan. While I don't set much store by the Golden Globes, I do realise that, for whatever reason, the awards are respected in Hollywood, and that it being invited to the awards is considered an honour for any actor. While I have no pity for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association or NBC, I do feel sorry for those actors for whom this would have been their first major awards ceremony.

The Golden Globes ceremony having been cancelled, the big question remaining is what is in store for the Academy Awards. In a Los Angeles Times story, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences executive director Bruce Davis was optimistic about being able to hold a traditional Oscars ceremony. Essentially, the Academy believes that they will be able to work out an agreement with the WGA so that the Academy Awards ceremony can unfold as usual. Right now I don't know how it will go for the Oscars. The Academy Awards are held in high esteem throughout the industry, including the industry's unions. It is then possible that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Writers Guild can work out some sort of agreement. That having been said, the WGA is on strike against ABC, who broadcast the Oscars ceremony. As respected as the Oscars are and as much as the writers might value them, I don't know that the WGA will issue waivers so that its members can work on the awards show. Let's face it, by not working on the Oscars, the WGA would be sending a message to the industry of just how important their demands are.

In the end I have to admit that I would be disappointed if the Academy is unable to hold a traditional Academy Awards ceremony. That having been said, to me the writers' demands for their fair share of profits outweighs any awards ceremony in importance, even the Oscars. In the end I would rather see the screenwriters get what they rightfully deserve rather see a traditional awards telecast of either the Golden Globes or the Oscars.

1 comment:

d. chedwick bryant said...

I always go to a party where we watch the Oscars, or have one of my own -But I'm with the writers 100%.