SAG president Alan Rosenberg has announced that not one of the more than 70 actors nominated for a Golden Globe will attend the Jan. 13 ceremonies because of the WGA’s plans to picket the event.
The Globes have been thrown into turmoil and uncertainty due to the WGA’s refusal to grant a strike waiver to struck Globes producer Dick Clark Prods., which offered to accept the same terms as David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants banner. Instead, the guild has said it will picket the Globes, skedded to air on NBC, which has become a prime target of the WGA’s strike campaign in the past few weeks.
Rosenberg, who made the announcement Friday afternoon, has been a staunch supporter of the two-month strike.
“After considerable outreach to Golden Globe actor nominees and their representatives over the past several weeks, there appears to be unanimous agreement that these actors will not cross WGA picket lines to appear on the Golden Globe Awards as acceptors or presenters,” he said. “We applaud our members for this remarkable show of solidarity for striking Writers Guild of America writers.”
In response, Dick Clark Prods. issued this statement: “Dick Clark Productions has reached out to the WGA on numerous occasions, from the very beginning of the WGA strike, and offered to enter into an interim agreement similar to the agreement reached by Worldwide Pants on behalf of the “Late Show with David Letterman” for the “Golden Globe Awards” — as well as all of our other programs. We are disappointed that the WGA has refused to bargain with us in good faith. It is apparent that we are being treated differently from similarly situated production companies.
“Dick Clark Productions is an independent production company that is not a member of the AMPTP and which has not authorized the AMPTP to represent it in the 2007 WGA negotiations. We support the WGA in their efforts on behalf of writers and hope that they will reconsider their position with regard to negotiating an interim agreement with us.”
On Friday, at a Los Angeles meeting with actors’ reps, Rosenberg passed along the WGA’s wish that actors also not attend the Broadcast Film Critics’ Critics Choice Awards Monday night, even though the event will not be picketed and will be broadcast by VH1. The event is not under a union contract, so the WGA cannot officially call for a boycott.
SAG said it’s not discouraging its members from attending the BFCA Awards nor will there be repercussions for any members that choose to do so. “It is not a struck production and there will not be a picket line,” the guild said. “Members who make a personal choice to attend the event will not be crossing a picket line to do so.”
Earlier Friday, Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Jorge Camara issued this statement: “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been placed in an extremely difficult position with the ongoing Writers Guild strike. We are making every effort to work out a solution that will permit the Golden Globes to take place with the creative community present to participate. We hope to announce a resolution to this unfortunate predicament on Monday.”
WGA West president Patric Verrone also issued a response praising SAG and blaming the mega-congloms for throwing the kudos season into confusion.
“We are grateful to our brothers and sisters in SAG for their continued solidarity and support,” Verrone said. “The entire awards show season is being put in jeopardy by the intransigence of a few big media corporations. We urge the conglomerates to return to the bargaining table they abandoned and negotiate a fair and reasonable deal with writers to put this town back to work.”
A group of top publicity firms echoed SAG’s concerns in a letter to NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker sent Friday afternoon.
“After much discussion with our clients, we have concluded the vast majority of the talent we represent are not comfortable crossing a picket line. Our clients are extremely grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and would love the opportunity to be recognized for their work, but will only do so in the event NBC/Dick Clark Productions reaches an interim agreement with the WGA for the Golden Globes.”
Talks between the WGA and the AMPTP collapsed on Dec. 7 after the majors insisted the guild remove six proposals from the table as a condition of continued bargaining. No new talks have been set; the Directors Guild of America may start their talks with the AMPTP soon.
Rosenberg also announced SAG is urging its members to appear on the two Worldwide Pants shows that have waiver deals with the WGA — “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” — but indicated they should avoid other shows. That would include “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” although Rosenberg did not specify any other show by name.
“Actors who are asked to appear on the struck network talk shows will have to cross WGA picket lines, creating the same situation that has led to the consensus among actors to skip the golden Globes,” Rosenberg said. “As I have said since this strike began on November 5th, we must stand united with our brothers and sisters at the WGA.”