Thursday, January 10, 2008

Strike Update: WGA Calls Off Awards Show

Variety is reporting that the Writers Guild, who announced their annual screenplay awards today, is planning to scrap its awards show due to the current strike. The ceremony was supposed to be held February 9 at the Bonaventure in Los Angeles. Awards, however, will still be given to winners, just not during a show.

This is the best decision, of course, on behalf of the writers. Had they gone ahead with the show it would have appeared to have been a double standard, since they shut down the Golden Globes and are trying to hurt the Oscars as much as possible. Cancelling their own awards demonstrates a strong resolve and clear focus, and I commend them for that.

Meanwhile, Hollywood A-listers are coming to the aid of the WGA. Tom Hanks called out the
AMPTP on the red carpet of the London premiere of his new film, Charlie Wilson's War, saying "I just hope that the big guys who make big decisions up high in their corporate boardrooms and what not get down to honest bargaining and everyone can get back to work," while, according to Nikki Finke, George Clooney has offered to personally set up a mediation panel to help put an end to the strike.

Said Fenke:
Clooney suggested its purpose should be to oversee the talks and tell the WGA as each term is bargained "you have to live with this and get over it," and tell the AMPTP "you have to live with that and get over it", Weinstein quoted George as saying. It's also Clooney's idea that everybody would be locked in the room together and not leave until the deal is done.
If major stars really start putting pressure on the AMPTP and put their weight behind the WGA, then we could start seeing a weakening in the AMPTP's positions. Especially since the contracts of SAG and the DGA are up this summer. Having the writers, actors, AND directors on strike would be a disaster, and they know it.

Of course, everyone wants to see an end to the strike as soon as possible, and for the WGA to come out on top of things. But the tit-for-tat nastiness that has been going on lately really needs to stop. Like Clooney said at the Critics Choice Awards, they all need to be locked in a room together and not leave until the deal is done.

It's gone on long enough, and it's quickly devolving into a nasty affair. Come to a deal, let the healing begin.

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