Last night, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association filed a motion for summary judgment in its Dick Clark Productions/Golden Globes case putting the awards show in even more limbo than before. So let me get this straight: the most bogus awards group in Hollywood is trying to declare a contract bogus for the most bogus awards show in Hollywood. Gotta love it.
So what does it all mean? An HFPA insider tells me that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association wants to be rid of DCP and free to hook up with another producer. One reason is that Dan Snyder (whose Red Zone owns DCP) “is no Dick Clark; he’s a greedy shark with no scruples,” the source says. Another is that DCP is up for sale, hence its desperation to hold onto the Globes, which is the only real asset it has, and there’s concern about the company’s future. Also, according to my insider, HFPA feels that NBC has low-balled them on fees “with DCP’s connivance” and so would like to see what the other networks might offer. Of course, what the HFPA is conveniently forgetting is that Dick Clark Productions rescued the HFPA’s Golden Globes awards show from near-death after not even cable wanted the scandal-plagued organization’s telecast anymore.
Below is a statement about the filing from the HFPA’s lead litigator, Linda J. Smith of O’Melveny & Myers:
“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association filed a motion for summary judgment in federal court in Los Angeles yesterday, asking Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank to rule in its favor in its lawsuit against Dick Clark Productions, Inc. and Red Zone Capital over the Golden Globes awards show. DCP claims that a 1993 contract with the HFPA awarded it perpetual rights to produce and license the Globes for broadcast on any terms DCP wants so long as the Globes continue to be aired on NBC. The HFPA’s motion relies on a tape recording of the 1993 presentation DCP executives made when they asked the HFPA membership to approve that transaction, as well as admissions by DCP executives that they knew the HFPA could not enter into a contract the membership had not approved. A transcript of the recording shows that DCP asked only for options for eight Golden Globes shows (subsequently extended through 2011), not the self-renewing options DCP now claims to have received. This means that even if the HFPA president signed a contract that might be construed as perpetual (a conclusion unsupported by any fair reading of the contract), under settled principles of agency law the agreement is not enforceable against the HFPA. Because DCP’s rights ran out after last January’s Golden Globes show, the HFPA has asked the Judge to declare the contract and its relationship with DCP at an end.”