With the Golden Globe awards victimized by the writers’ strike, Hollywood’s attention – and deep concern – now shift to the Academy Awards and the Grammys.
So far, the Writers Guild of America “will not grant waivers to the recording industry, and in all likelihood, we will not grant one to the [Motion Picture] Academy,” WGA-West Executive Assistant Director Jeff Hermanson told PEOPLE Tuesday.
The reason: the revenues from the broadcasts “go directly to the conglomerates.”
Without waivers, the shows face the possibility of picket lines that stars in the Screen Actors Guild won’t cross, forcing a possible Globes-style downsizing. For the Oscars, especially, Hermanson said, “at this point, it is bleak.”
Still, a rep for the Academy says, “We are proceeding with the Academy Awards as planned.” Likewise, the Grammy Awards put in a request Tuesday for a waiver for their telecast.
If the waiver for the Grammys is not granted, the WGA has said it will picket the Feb. 10 ceremony, and ask musicians and presenters who are SAG members [such as nominees Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys] to boycott the show at L.A.’s Staples Center.
Representatives for the Grammy Awards declined to comment, but in a statement said, “[We want] to bring this matter to a positive resolution working with the WGA. … We will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that [the Grammys are] held as planned. Accordingly, all preparations … for our milestone 50th Annual Grammy Awards remain in full-swing.”
Several awards shows, however, will continue without the threat of picket lines. The Screen Actors Guild Awards, scheduled for Jan. 27, at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A., and the NAACP Image Awards, on Feb. 14, also at the Shrine, have been granted waivers by the WGA to proceed as planned.
“We’ve given a waiver to SAG because it’s an organization that shares our aims, and we are in solidarity with them. It’s not a huge revenue earner for the conglomerates,” says Hermanson. “The NAACP awards, similarly, the NAACP is an organization whose goals we share; they’re a social justice organization.”
While the red carpets aren’t being rolled up just yet, Hermanson says the WGA remains hopeful. “We absolutely want to see the Academy awards go on,” he says, “and we want to see the town go back to work.”