On Monday December 17th, the WGA turned down requests for waivers by the Oscars and the Golden Globes to put those telecasts on air without the Guild’s writers. With the rejection of the waivers for the Academy Awards (ABC), set for Sunday February 24th, and the much faster approaching Golden Globes (NBC), set for January 13th, the WGA has essentially cancelled both awards shows by its actions.
The SAG Awards did receive a waiver and are scheduled for Jan. 27th.
But the other two awards shows will be cancelled and no one or should I say everyone in the industry is avoiding the mention of this 600 pound LaMotta because a) they are holding out the now near impossible hope for a settlement and b) no one wants to interrupt the cash flow from the media promotions of the potential nominees.
That is unless they want to go the route of the People’s Choice Awards which announced it will air its show Jan 8th (CBS) in a 2 hour “magazine” format of prerecorded videos and no audience yet featuring Queen Latifah as the prerecorded "host."
The Oscars and the Golden Globes will not play that game.
Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said, “It’s very difficult for me to envision that we would follow the model.”
But the folks who put on the Oscars and the Globes still feel they will somehow put those shows up despite their failure to receive the requested Guild waiver. It will never happen. Here’s why. No publicist is gonna send their client to run the gauntlet of Writer’s Guild’s strikers who will be on hand to make things extremely impossible for any stars who have the nerve to cross the picket lines into the event. No stars. No Oscars. No Globes.
Nerves are already frayed. Last week a WGA member wrote an angry letter to Peter Bart, editor of Variety, the entertainment industry bible, demanding he cancel her subscription due to what she perceived as pro-studio editorial bias. Variety makes the bulk of their ad revenue during the annual awards season. I find the reply amusing.
Peter Bart replied:
Dear Nicole Yorkin,
I respectfully think you've drunk the Kool-Aid -- Variety's coverage has been objective. What motivation would we have to invoke a bias? Must every Guild (or every company) be validated for their every demand?
The reason I find that amusing is that “drinking the Kool-aid” has become such a common refrain in our vernacular. We use it for all sorts of arguments and jokes. But mostly the phrase is used on the Left to describe right wing nuts that goose step in unison to their own weird ideology. Well, as most people know, the saying dates back to the 1978 Jonestown Massacre and the poison laced Kool-aid (actually a product called Flavor-aid which was laced with Valium, chloral hydrate and cyanide) distributed by Rev. Jim Jones to his willful followers. 900 of them committed suicide.
In 1980, CBS made a great Movie of the Week called Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.
So what the hell does this have to do with the award shows being cancelled due to the WGA strike? In Guyana Tragedy the lead was brilliantly played by none other than Powers Boothe, who after being nominated for an Emmy for the role was one of the only nominees to show up to get the award during the then-ongoing Screen Actors Guild strike. His immortal quote, “This may be either the bravest moment of my career or the dumbest,” will live in infamy. It was the dumbest. Insiders now admit that crossing the picket line destroyed his career.
Kind of an interesting choice of words on Mr. Bart’s part, don’t you think? No publicist, manager or agent wants their client to be the next Powers Boothe and that in its essence is why the Oscars and the Golden Globes will be cancelled.