The Golden Globes telecast has been canceled, DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com reported on Monday (January 7), after weeks of bitter acrimony between striking writers, Globes organizers the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and broadcast partner NBC.
Instead of a televised awards show, the HFPA will instead make an announcement of the winners, which will be broadcast on NBC News as part of a "stripped-down" ceremony, the Web site reports. As a news event, this will presumably allow for winners to accept their awards and then head over to a press room for interviews and photos.
The announcement comes after weeks of failed negotiations between the WGA and Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Globes for NBC. Dick Clark Productions had been trying to reach an independent agreement with the Guild, similar to the one brokered several weeks ago between the WGA and Worldwide Pants Inc., which allowed late-night talk-show hosts David Letterman and Craig Ferguson to come back to TV with writers.
While the negotiations with Dick Clark Productions never made it past a stalemate, the WGA did score major points over the weekend by making an independent deal with United Artists, led by megastar Tom Cruise and his longtime producing partner Paula Wagner. The deal, not yet officially signed, is the first side agreement made with any independent studio, and allows UA to be in business with striking writers.
A big win for the writers, the deal may ultimately give the writers less leverage, reports The New York Times, which reported that the "guild risks violating federal labor law if it refuses to deal with companies on an equal basis."
The Globes, originally set to air Sunday, is the first awards-show casualty of the Writers Guild of America strike. Writers announced their intention to picket the show if it were televised, on the grounds that it serves as promotion for studios and a lucrative advertising venue for NBC, which has exclusive rights to broadcast the event. Last week, the Screen Actors Guild announced they would honor the WGA strike by advising their members not to cross picket lines, meaning no celebrity presenters or guests would be present at the ceremony.
NBC, led by President and CEO Jeff Zucker, could have chosen not to broadcast the ceremony, as WGA leaders announced that they wouldn't picket the show if it were private. According to Finke, NBC wouldn't allow the HFPA to put on an untelevised awards show, however, arguing that the network was contractually obligated to broadcast any ceremony the HFPA put on.
The possibility remains of delaying the show until after the end of the WGA strike, although Hollywood insiders who spoke with MTV News indicate that the strike might continue well into 2009.
Representatives at the Michael Russell Group, which handles PR for the HFPA, declined to comment to MTV News at press time, saying only that an official announcement would come sometime later Monday.
[This story was originally published at 3:20 pm E.T. on 1.7.2008]