In a sidebar called “Blogger’s Choice” in their 1.18.08 issue, Entertainment Weekly is running counterviews and tea-leaf readings from seven of “the film industry’s top bloggers,” including predictions about the 2.24 Oscar Awards broadcast. I’m the only one who is flat-out skeptical about the Oscars even happening. Everyone else — David Carr, Pete Hammond,. Tom O’Neil, David Poland, Sasha Stone and Anne Thompson — is predicting that a deal or a waiver will allow the show to broadcast.
Pages 44 and 45 of Entertainment Weekly’s 1.18.08 issue, #974
I know this much: the AMPTP is sensing that WGA negotiators, who are regarded in some circles as erratic and inconsistent for making side deals here and there, is weakening because significant voices are bitching about their tactics and general leadership qualities, and the WGA guys know this. If the WGA grants a waiver for the Oscars they will be seen as flat-out pussies by the AMPTP hardballers, and the WGA guys know this. They need to either cut an overall deal by 2.10.08, or two weeks before the show (one week would be cutting it too close), or the strike will continue, the Oscars will get no special waiver and the WGA negotiators will have held on to a semblance of battlefield honor.
A 1.13 Toronto Star article by Peter Howell takes a somewhat more pessimistic view, or at least what you’d call a wait-and-see one.
“The Oscars are viewed as the ultimate example of the show that must go on,” Howell writes. “The Oscars have been delayed three times in the 80 years — by floods, by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and by the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan — but they have never been cancelled.
“The cancellation of the Golden Globes is a $75-million to $100-million blow to the L.A. economy, by one count, and the loss of the Oscars would surely dwarf that. What is apparent here, however, is that the awards shows are mere collateral damage in a bigger war for the future of movies and TV shows in the digital age. The old Hollywood of L.A.-based studios making films for bricks-and-mortar theatres is rapidly being replaced by international conglomerates making entertainment product for the iInternet, the iPod and the cellphone.
“As Variety gloomily put it recently: ‘Hollywood is a mere plaything of the international congloms, and Hollywood product represents a relatively minor sector of the product line.'”