Striking Hollywood writers forced the cancellation of the annual Golden Globe Awards telecast after gaining support from movie and television actors who refused to appear on the show.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which stages the awards honoring the year's best film and TV performances, announced the decision yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The program was set to air Jan. 13 on General Electric Co.'s NBC.
The decision is a victory for the Writers Guild of America, which convinced Hollywood stars to boycott the telecast. Writers are in the 10th week of a strike against film and TV studios over pay for work used on the Internet. The cancellation also raises questions about the Feb. 24 Oscars telecast by Walt Disney Co.'s ABC.
"It's just a notch in their belt that they stopped the Golden Globes," said Norm Samnick, a New York-based entertainment attorney with Bryan Cave LP. "The bottom line is your strike will still be on."
The foreign writers' group said winners will be announced at a Jan. 13 news conference at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. NBC will broadcast the news conference live, the network said in a separate e-mailed statement.
The writers, who walked off the job Nov. 5, are trying to pressure studios to return to the bargaining table by seeking separate agreements with smaller production companies and by denying the Golden Globes a waiver to use writers and film clips for a televised show.
The guild has reached separate labor agreements with talk- show host David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, and with United Artists, the film studio led by actor Tom Cruise and his partner, Paula Wagner.
Letterman returned to the air with CBS Corp. on Jan. 2 with his writers, while Jay Leno, without a similar agreement, returned to NBC on the same date without his writing staff.
The last round of talks between the guild and the studios' negotiating unit, the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, broke down Dec. 7.
The Screen Actors Guild said last week that its members would honor picket lines at the Golden Globes.
The cancellation will add to the strike's economic impact. The Golden Globes generate $50 million to $70 million in local spending, according to Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Develop Corp. The Academy Awards ceremony adds about $130 million to the economy, he said.
The strike has cost the Southern California economy $1.4 billion, according to Kyser. That includes $179.6 million in lost pay to writers and $309.6 million in lost wages to other unionized workers in the industry.
The figures are based on an estimate of employees' lost spending power and lower studio expenditures with small businesses such as caterers, he said.
"A lot of these firms are struggling to stay in the business," Kyser said.
General Electric, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, rose 14 cents to $36.18 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. It has declined 10 percent since the strike began. Disney, with headquarters in Burbank, California, gained 3 cents to $31.16 and is down 8.1 percent since the walkout.