Academy Awards President SID GANIS is positive the Oscars will go ahead despite the threat from the current Hollywood writers strike.
Ganis has fueled speculation the Writers Guild of America (WGA) walkouts could be nearing an end by declaring that “things are looking very, very good now” for the 24 February (08) ceremony to go ahead.
Members of the WGA walked out in November (07) in a protest over royalties and so far negotiations to break the deadlock have proved unsuccessful.
However, talks have been stepped up ahead of this month’s (Feb08) Oscars ceremony, which many fear will be canceled if the union refuses to grant organisers a waiver.
Last month’s (Jan08) Golden Globes, which usually takes the form of a glittering star-studded ceremony, was reduced to a televised press conference after the union announced plans to protest at the event, forcing the majority of attendees to vow not to cross the picket line.
Speaking at a luncheon to celebrate this year’s (08) nominees, Ganis insists if the Academy Awards are canceled, it will be a major blow to the movie industry.
He says, “The Oscars exists to shine the brightest possible light on you and your work, and it would be such a terrible shame, through no fault of yours and no fault of ours, if the current conditions prevented us from shining that brightest possible light.”
It was reported at the weekend (02-03Feb08) that WGA officials and film bosses have sketched the outline of an agreement on how much writers will be paid for Internet broadcasting of their work.
If a deal is reached, it will have to be approved by the Guild’s board and then ratified by the union’s 10,500 members.