When they should be working on putting together next January’s Golden Globes telecast, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Prods will be busy battling each other in court. U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank ruled this morning that the legal dispute between the organization behind the Golden Globes, the HFPA, and the awards show’s longtime producer DCP should go to trial because there were “numerous genuine disputes of material fact” over the issue of rights to the Golden Globes franchise. The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 30.
The HFPA sued DCP in November, claiming that the producer did not have the right to make a new long-term deal with NBC last October without its consent. “We look forward to proceeding to trial and vindicating our rights,” HFPA president Aida Takla-O’Reilly said of today’s ruling. DCP noted one point on which the judge sided with them: While rejecting DCP’s request for dismissal, she granted the company’s request not to accept HFPA’s re-wording of an old agreement between HFPA and DCP, which has had different interpretations by the two sides on the grounds that too much time has passed. “We are gratified the judge agreed with us in connection to the reformation claim and we’re looking forward to addressing the remaining factual issues,” DCP said in a statement. “We firmly believe our position will be vindicated as we were within our contract rights to make the NBC deal. The HFPA knows this all too well and is simply trying to rewrite the contract through litigation.”