WGA Tells the Oscars and Globes It’s a No Go

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You have to wonder if there are even going to be award shows this season. Well, I guess there will be Screen Actors Guild Awards since the WGA has already said the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards have been given an exemption, but the Golden Globes and Oscars got a big fat denial and on top of that picket lines will be set up outside of each show should the strike still be in effect for January 13th Golden Globes and February 24th for the Oscars.

The announcemen came today via a WGA statement saying:

The Writers Guild has 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.

The Guild has also denied a request from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a waiver in connection with the use of clips from motion pictures and past Academy Awards shows for use during the annual Academy Awards presentation.

In letters to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, WGAW President Patric M. Verrone described the Guild’s respect and admiration for both organizations, explaining that:

“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 signatories producing the Golden Globes and the Oscars are West Coast signatories. The WGAW’s Board of Directors concluded, reluctantly, that granting exceptions for the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards would not advance that goal.”

That news comes from Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood where she also says that there are no negotiations currently scheduled, which means we can pretty much guarantee there won’t be any holiday miracles in terms of strike settlement.

You have got to wonder what attendance at these shows is going to look like with WGA members striking outside the red carpet at both the Globes and Oscars. I have to assume that the majority of the WGA members won’t even be attending the show, which certainly puts a damper on things considering it has long been discussed how the ratings of these shows has been declining over the past several years. The Academy may have to consider giving Transformers Best Picture honors just to get a few more people to watch.

While the Hollywood Foreign Press released a statement stating their disappointment in the WGA’s decision they did say they were encouraged by the Guild’s “plans to negotiate agreements with independent production companies” and would attempt to reach a deal for the upcoming Globe ceremony on that basis.

Just have to wonder how Jon Stewart will fair out there on the Oscar stage without any material written for him. I am sure Jon can write a lot of his own stuff, but a staff of helpers certainly helps. I guess we will get a test run on how all that will work as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” will return in January with new shows, although without writers.