No winners in loss of awards ceremony

Writer Steven Katz passes out flyers in front of NBC studios in New York City.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Doug Krizner: The Golden Globes are scheduled for broadcast this Sunday night. We're getting a whittled-down version, thanks to the writers' strike. No glitz, just a press conference.

Let's bring in Mike Speier, executive editor at Variety here in LA. Mike, what's the story on this?

Mike Speier: Well, the day that they decided to pare it down to a press conference, they still were having hopes that they would have a whole night of events. They'd have a press conference, they'd have Dateline NBC doing interviews, they'd have Access Hollywood with the parties. So they still thought that maybe there was hope, that they'd still get three or four hours of entertainment stuff. But in the end, parties got cancelled and it became a news event, and it was one hour and that was it.

Krizner: So this is about not only the writers, but the actors potentially, too, boycotting the event, right?

Speier: I'll say that that's even the bigger deal, is that the actors not going. Because SAG, which is the actors' union, is the friend of the writers, they're in the creative community. And SAG said, "We're not gonna go, we're not gonna send our stars there." So that that's why they cancelled the party.

Krizner: Does this give us any kind of indication that there could be trouble for the Oscars?

Speier: Absolutely. I mean, the Oscars won't admit that, but certainly there's got to be behind-the-scenes contingency plans. Because why are they any different? They're an awards show, they're not getting a waiver from the WGA, which means they're not going to have writers writing for them, at least for now, they haven't made that decision. And if SAG still supports the writers, then why would the actors show up there?

Krizner: How much damage has it done to the industry from where you sit?

Speier: Just on the Globes alone, the estimates for the income in Los Angeles and for the revenue is up to $80 million, between everyone from security and freelance hairdressers, people flying in and out of Los Angeles, where they stay, car companies. So right away, that's a tangible effect.

Krizner: So how does the industry now view what the writers have done?

Speier: I think it depends on where you are on the fence. If you're a creative person and you support them, you probably lean towards look, when you fight, strikes aren't good for anyone, but this is what happens, this is the collateral damage. I kind of think that it's collateral damage that might not have had to have happened, they could have allowed the awards show to go on and still fought for what they believed in. Because it is for the average person, and the average person doesn't really care about the strike, they just want to see their show and George Clooney walking on the red carpet.

Krizner: How do the studios and the producers respond to all of this?

Speier: The major studios right now are such conglomerates, they have so many other avenues to make money, and really it's just about the stock price. And I gotta say, if the stock price is not affected by anything, and TV still goes on with reality shows, and the movie business is still in production on certain things, then I don't think they're rushing that quickly to get back to the table. When you see stock prices drop, when you see money being lost -- that and shareholders being angry -- I think that's when you're going to start seeing some movement.

Krizner: Mike Speier is executive editor at Variety here in LA. Mike, always a pleasure, thanks so much.

Speier: Thank you.

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