If the jokes are particularly bad at the Golden Globes on Jan. 13, blame the ongoing writers’ strike. The WGA on Monday denied a request by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Prods. to allow comedy scribes to prepare material for the 65th annual ceremony on NBC. And the Globes aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch of the picket line. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also got a big fat “no way” from the WGA when the Academy asked to use clips from motion pictures and past Oscar shows during the February event, though apparently it does not impact the organization’s ability to use them. In a statement posted Tuesday on the AMPAS website, the organization states that the WGA’s decision “affects only the conditions under which we may use such material, not our ability to do so.” That could mean Oscar will have to pay to use the clips.
The WGA hasn’t officially anounced whether it’ll deny Oscar the ability to use writers to help write bon mots for host Jon Stewart, but a union insider says it is prepared to say no if and when the show applies for a waiver. As a result, Oscar may expect Stewart to do for the show what host Jimmy Kimmel did for the American Music Awards in November on ABC: improvise, bigtime. AMPAS said on its website that it has not requested a waiver to use writers for the show, “nor has the Guild told the Academy whether such a request would or wouldn’t be viewed favorably.” AMPAS also reiterated the show will go on Feb. 24.
In a statement released Monday night, WGA West President Patric M. Verrone said “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 AMPTP issued this response today: “In the category of Worst Supporting Union, the nominee is the WGA. The union, which initiated the strike, continues day in and day out to make good on its commitment to, in the words of a leading WGA organizer, `wreak havoc,’ even though those being hurt include the WGA’s own working writers, the below-the-line workers and their families, the broader LA region – and now the creative artists who deserve to be honored for their work over the last year.”