Hollywood agents are convinced that the Writers Guild of America won’t grant a waiver to the 65th annual Golden Globes put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and broadcast by NBC. Then again, the network should be ashamed of backing the phoniest awards show ever since the HFPA won’t allow the staff journalists from the most respected overseas papers to join its tiny and unimpressive clique. (Not to mention its ethically challenged history.)
Right now, emails are circulating inside the major Hollywood talent agencies discussing what the actors and directors and even writers should do about attending because it’s near certain that a WGA picket line will be erected outside the event. “Everyone remembers the Powers Booth incident 20-plus years ago,” one inter-agency email forwarded to me said. “I realize no one is thinking that far ahead per se, but if any of you speak to the powers that be at the WGA, ask them what they think the union will expect from SAG members and their members.”
The reference to actor Powers Boothe dates back to 1980 when he played crazed cult leader Jim Jones in the CBS-TV movie Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones and won the Emmy. During the Screen Actors Guild strike that fall, he was one of the few members who showed up at the ceremonies to claim his award. He said at the time, “This may be either the bravest moment of my career or the dumbest.” Obviously, no agency wants to put their clients in that kind of awkward position, and the Golden Globes and NBC is panicking about who’ll show up and who won’t. But WGA sources say the full board must meet and vote on granting a Golden Globes waiver during the strike and that hasn’t happened yet.
So far, the only awards show granted a WGA waiver is the Screen Actors Guild’s because of that union’s solidarity with the striking writers. Talk about a ratings boost! The big question is what the WGA decides about the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and its 80th Academy Awards broadcast on ABC. The rumor mill on that is working overtime.