Screen Actors Guild Says Nominated Actors Will Skip Golden Globes

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Golden Globe-nominated actors are expected to snub the awards in support of striking Hollywood writers, the actors union said Friday, jeopardizing one of the entertainment industry's signature showcases.

NBC, however, said it was sticking by its plans to air the Jan. 13 ceremony, despite the uncertainty about how much — if any — star power the Globes could muster.

"The network plans to move forward with the broadcast at this point," NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said, adding that it has yet to be determined which actors will participate.

Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg made the announcement after canvassing nominees during the past several weeks.

"There appears to be unanimous agreement that these actors will not cross" the picket lines to present or accept an award, he said in a prepared statement.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organizes the awards, said it was wrestling with the "unfortunate predicament."

"We are making every effort to work out a solution that will permit the Golden Globes to take place with the creative community present to participate," Jorge Camara, the group's president, said in a statement.

The association hoped to announce a resolution Monday, Camara said.

The writers strike, which began Nov. 5, has broad implications for the way Hollywood does business. Whatever deal is struck by writers on payment for shows offered on the Internet could affect talks with actors and directors, whose contracts expire next June.

The Golden Globes show brings in a reported $5 million for the association and millions more in advertising revenue for NBC.

On Friday, a dozen publicity firms representing what they called a majority of Golden Globe-nominated actors, writers and directors, as well as many stars invited to appear as presenters, released a letter sent to NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker.

"After much discussion with our clients, we have concluded the vast majority of the talent we represent are not comfortable crossing a picket line," the letter said.

The stars would appear only if NBC and dick clark productions, which produces the show, reaches an interim agreement with the writers guild, the publicists told Zucker.

The Clark company lashed out at the guild in a statement Friday, citing repeated efforts to reach an interim agreement akin to the union deal with another independent company, Worldwide Pants, which produces David Letterman's show.

"We are disappointed that the WGA has refused to bargain with us in good faith. It is apparent that we are being treated differently from similarly situated production companies," the Clark company said.

An e-mail request for guild comment was not immediately answered.

Meanwhile, writers guild President Patric M. Verrone lauded the move by actors and said the "entire awards show season is being put in jeopardy by the intransigence of a few big media corporations."

In his statement, Verrone urged studios to resume talks that broke off Dec. 7.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios in negotiations, did not immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment.

The Writers Guild of America had refused to grant a waiver to allow its members to work on the Globes, the People's Choice Awards and the prestigious Academy Awards.

A total of 72 actors are among this year's Golden Globe nominees. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has repeatedly tried to seek the blessing of the writers guild.

The actors union said previously that the choice to attend was a personal one that its members would make for themselves.

In his statement Friday, Rosenberg also weighed in on the late-night talk shows, which are back on the air. Some are working without writers, while others made deals with the writers guild.

Rosenberg stopped short of pressing actors to skip the picketed shows, like Jay Leno's "Tonight."

"We urge our members to appear on the two programs that have independent agreements with the WGA, 'The Late Show with David Letterman' and `Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,"' he said.

Actors who appear on other shows have to cross picket lines, he said.

That creates "the same situation that has led to the consensus among actors to skip the Golden Globes," Rosenberg said.