Writers strike threatens Oscars

With the ongoing screenwriters strike causing the cancellation of the Golden Globes ceremony, industry reports Thursday said the Oscar show could be next.

The Oscar show is set for February 24, with nominations scheduled on January 22. According to The Hollywood Reporter preparations for the biggest night in the Hollywood calendar are already a month behind schedule because producers have not been able to hire any writers to start planning the show.

"The major change from last year is that in a normal year, we'd have assembled a staff of writers, and they would have been working on the show for more than a month," Academy executive director Bruce Davis said. "Our hope is we can work something out or that the strike is resolved in time."

The Academy hopes that the striking Writers Guild of America will still grant the organization a waiver to allow writers to work. A waiver would also remove the other threat to the Oscars: a picket line that the stars who are members of the Screen Actors Guild will be ordered not to cross.

The WGA refused to grant a waiver for the Golden Globes that was to take place Sunday, hoping to damage the studios that use the event to promote their movies and the NBC network which produces the show. Though a similar argument could be made for the Oscars, most members of the Academy are union members, and the WGA did form a precedent when it granted a strike waiver to the Screen Actors Guild awards show.

The Alliance of Motion Picture Television Producers (AMPTP), the organization locked in a dispute with the WGA, has blasted the writers' targeting of awards shows, comparing it to the Cold War-era boycotts of the Olympic Games during the 1980s.

"Imagine if you had worked hard your entire career in the entertainment business and you have a once in a lifetime shot at being a nominee for an Oscar or a Golden Globe," an AMPTP statement said.

"Then thanks to WGA picketing you're not able to show up on the big night. It is like the Olympic athlete who trains their whole life to compete for a gold medal only to have the dream dashed because of a boycott." ( Dpa )

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