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Scrapped Golden Globe ceremony hits Hollywood hard

Service staff found themselves out of work when this Sunday's star-studded Golden Globes gala dinner and red carpet walk-up fell victim to the nine-week-old screenwriters strike. -Reuters

Wed, Jan 09, 2008
Reuters

LOS ANGELES - HOLLYWOOD scrambled on Tuesday to assess the fallout from the decision to scrap the glittering Golden Globe movie and TV awards ceremony and hold only a news conference that few stars are likely to attend.

Caterers, limousine drivers, stylists, hotels and dozens of magazines and TV shows found themselves out of work when this Sunday's star-studded Golden Globes gala dinner and red carpet walk-up fell victim to the nine-week-old screenwriters strike.

'There are a lot of people being hurt by this,' said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. He estimated the Golden Globes annually bring in US$70-US$80 million (S$100.9-S$115.4 million) to the Los Angeles economy.

'A lot of the parties are being cancelled and they can run up to US$200,000 each. There is a big ripple impact from this in terms of hotel bookings, security guards, parking attendants, beauticians etc.,' Mr Kyser said.

Industry sources said most of the after parties hosted by movie and TV studios have been cancelled, including those by HBO, Warner Bros/In Style magazine and NBC, which will televise the truncated awards show.

The exact format of Sunday's news conference is unclear, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which votes on the awards, said there would be no red carpet for celebrities to strut their stuff and be interviewed by various celebrity TV shows and magazines.

'The last 48 hours have been crazy,' said Charla Lawhon, managing editor for In Style magazine, which had to swiftly plug a fashion hole in its March edition. 'Our readers and millions of viewers on television get true delight in seeing their favourite celebrities in those dresses.'

No show, no stars
It also is highly unlikely Golden Globe nominees will turn up to collect their statues in categories like best actor, director and top films.

'There are so many gray areas and such confusion. These stars are so baffled they may just stay home,' said Tom O'Neil, columnist for www.TheEnvelope.com.

The Golden Globes gala is second only to the Oscars in terms of exposure in Hollywood's awards season, and the Globes routinely pull in about 20 million US TV viewers.

The show became a casualty of the bitter strike by about 10,500 screenwriters against major studios over how writers should be paid for work distributed over the Internet. Writers had said they would not work for the Golden Globes and actors said they would not cross picket lines to attend the show.

Mr O'Neil said some of the biggest losers would be Golden Globe newcomers and critically praised but struggling TV shows or movies that will miss the commercial boost a moment in the world's spotlight can bring.

'It is kind of like somebody cancelling the senior prom at the last minute,' said nominee Nikki Blonsky, the teen plucked from an ice cream shop to star in 'Hairspray' which was nominated for best movie or musical.

Hundreds of photographers, many of them freelancers for whom the Globes are one of their biggest pay days, will also be out of work on Sunday. But the Splash picture agency in Los Angeles said the income from red carpet photos had diminished in recent years as competition has intensified.

'Our photographers will probably spend their time and make more money seeing what celebrities are doing on Sunday - maybe looking depressed and miserable,' said Splash CEO Gary Morgan.

 
 
 
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