As screen actors inch one step closer to a strike, no one seems more worried than the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. You’ll remember that the writers’ work stoppage basically scuttled their Golden Globes ceremony last January: NBC staged a cheesy news conference instead, hosted by Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush and Nancy O’Dell, and only 6 million people tuned in — a decline of nearly 15 million viewers. ”We were the victims of circumstance,” recalls HFPA president Jorge Camara. ”It was a nightmare.” So much so that NBC even threatened to sue Dick Clark Productions for failing to create the kudocast.
Cooler heads prevailed and the Globes are slated to return in their original soused glory on Jan. 11. That is, unless one nightmare scenario plays out: a strike by SAG, which represents 120,000 actors. The union has been working without a contract since June, and after talks with movie and TV studios broke down for the 1,472nd time last week, its leadership said it will ask its members to strike. (One major sticking point: how to compensate performers for DVD residuals.) Getting the required 75 percent of SAG’s voting members to approve the walk out would take weeks. Which puts us…in January. ”God knows what’s going to happen,” says one NBC insider. ”We really want the Globes to happen and fully expect them to, but you never know.”