(AFP) – Jan 8, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AFP) — This year's Golden Globes ceremony has been cancelled, organizers said Monday, making the star-studded awards show the highest-profile casualty of the Hollywood writer's strike.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and broadcasters NBC announced the decision to replace the show with a press conference after actors last week vowed to boycott the event in support of striking writers.
The HFPA and NBC said that instead of the traditional dinner and awards ceremony, this year's Golden Globes winners would be revealed during an hour long press conference at 6 pm (0200 GMT) Sunday in Beverly Hills.
"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 favorite stars celebrating 2007's outstanding achievements in motion pictures and television," said HFPA president Jorge Camara.
"We take some comfort, however, in knowing that this year's Golden Globe Award recipients will be announced on the date originally scheduled."
The statement did not give further information about Sunday's awards, which are regarded as a key indicator of likely winners at the following month's Oscars and are one of the highlights of Hollywood's awards season.
The influential movie industry blog deadlinehollywooddaily.com reported earlier Monday that stars would still be able to attend a red carpet arrivals event prior to the press conference.
However an unnamed studio publicist quoted by the Hollywood Reporter trade magazine questioned how many stars would bother attending a press conference instead of a champagne dinner.
"Unless I know my guy is winning, I'm not sending stars in to sit on a folding chair just to hear someone else's name read out at a press conference," the publicist told the magazine's online edition.
Movie industry figures reacted with disappointment to the Globes cancellation. Scott Rudin, a producer on best picture contender "No Country for Old Men," expressed sympathy for the HFPA.
"I think it's a terrible shame for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association," he told the Los Angeles Times' online edition. "This is a group that's completely caught in the middle of a situation that has nothing to do with them."
The fate of the Globes had been hanging in the balance ever since striking writers confirmed plans to erect picket lines around the awards show last week.
On Friday, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced that its members would not cross picket lines set up by writers.
The prospect of an awards show stripped of its stars immediately cast plans for the event into doubt.
Hollywood screenwriters downed tools on November 5 after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to agree terms for a new contract that expired in October.
Negotiations have foundered over the writers' demands for an increased share of profits from Internet and new media sales.
The two-month strike has forced the suspension of numerous television series as well as the postponement of work on several Hollywood films.
The dispute has also cast a shadow over plans for next month's 80th Academy Awards, the highlight of the movie industry's awards season.
However the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's executive director said he was optimistic of brokering a deal that would allow the Oscars to take place as scheduled on February 24.
"We really think we can work out some sort of agreement that will allow us to do a traditional Academy Awards broadcast," Bruce Davis told the Los Angeles Times, appearing to rule out a scaled back Oscars ceremony.
"We will not be resorting to the kind of expedients that the Golden Globes are resorting to. We can do the kind of show the public expects of us."
Last month it emerged that the WGA had barred its members from working at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes, ruling out the possibility of granting a waiver to the two awards shows.
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