Staff Report, The Envelope
January 2, 2008
The awards show's organizer, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., has entered a last-minute negotiation with the striking Writers Guild of America so that the Globes may be broadcast as scheduled, without picket lines, on Jan. 13.
The awards group's attorneys began discussions with the Writers Guild of America to enter into an interim agreement similar to that entered into by the WGA and Worldwide Pants, which permits Writers Guild members to go back to work writing for "The Late Show with David Letterman," according to the statement.
The HFPA is arguing that "The Late Show with David Letterman" and the "Golden Globe Awards" are similar in structure and are administered in the same way. Worldwide Pants produces "The Late Show with David Letterman" for broadcast on behalf of David Letterman, and Dick Clark Productions produces the Golden Globes for broadcast on behalf of the HFPA. CBS does not own "The Late Show with David Letterman," and NBC does not own the "Golden Globe Awards."
But the WGA has renewed its vow to picket the Globes ceremony. The group released the following statement late Wednesday afternoon:
"Dick Clark Productions is a struck company. As previously announced, the Writers Guild will be picketing the Golden Globe Awards. The WGA has great respect and admiration for the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., but we are engaged in a crucial struggle that will protect our income and intellectual property rights for generations to come. We will continue to do everything in our power to bring industry negotiations to a fair conclusion. In the meantime, we are grateful for the ongoing support of the Hollywood talent community."
The Screen Actors Guild also weighed in, promising to keep members who have been nominated for Golden Globes updated.
"Screen Actors Guild is continuing its outreach to Golden Globe actor nominees," said a statement from SAG President Alan Rosenberg. "Unless and until there is an agreement between the WGA and HFPA, we will advise our members of their rights with respect to not crossing WGA picket lines and/or not appearing on programs using non-union writers. Screen Actors Guild is holding a meeting with Golden Globe actor nominees later this week regarding these issues."
Earlier, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. had praised the agreement the WGA made with Letterman's production company and asked for similar consideration.
"We are pleased that the WGA has made interim agreements available for independent production companies," said Jorge Camara, HFPA president. "The process established by the WGA permits writers to get back to work, grants the WGA the rights it is seeking on behalf of all writers, and allows certain shows to move forward."
"We strongly support the WGA and the efforts they are making on behalf of writers, and applaud the fact that they have agreed to allow certain industry awards shows to move forward with WGA writers and be broadcast," Camara said. "Much like the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Film Independent's Spirit Awards, we want to enter into an agreement with the WGA that will allow the entertainment industry to celebrate the outstanding work of creative individuals in addition to millions of fans nationwide. It is only fair that we be afforded the same opportunity as these other awards shows."
As a part of the negotiations, the Globes' production company -- Dick Clark Productions -- had agreed to enter into interim agreements for all of its productions, including the "American Music Awards," "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" and "The Academy of Country Music Awards," among others.
Over the last several years the HFPA has contributed approximately $8 million to organizations including The Film Foundation, Sundance Institute, Film Independent, American Cinematheque and schools including USC, UCLA, and Cal Arts. Camara said all of these programs will be severely affected without the funds made available as a direct result of the Golden Globe Awards broadcast.