Will The Oscars Be Cancelled?
Posted on Wednesday January 9, 2008, 14:07 by Olly Richards
Now that the Golden Globes have been demoted to an inevitably mildly depressing press conference with no celebrities and nobody dressed like a swan or similar, the inevitable question arises of whether or not the Oscars will go the same way. Currently the situation looks unclear, but certainly not hopeful and it's seeming increasingly unlikely that we'll be seeing the kind of ceremony we're used to on February 24.
Though the Golden Globes are inarguably the second biggest awards ceremony in the season calendar, there should be no illusion that they are in any way comparable to the Oscars as a prestige event, or indeed a commercial enterprise. To ditch the Golden Globes is primarily to deprive 80-something members of the Hollywood foreign press of a giant hit of their chosen narcotic: celebrity. To cancel the Oscars is to kill the biggest event in the industry's year and cost many industries many millions. But on to the financial bit in a minute.
Firstly, Hollywood at large will want this to happen. Though all guilds wish to show solidarity for their writing colleagues, you can bet most will be hoping a deal can be reached as they prize the Oscars above all other gongs. As far as the Oscar organisers are concerned, nothing's going to stop them. Academy Awards Exec Producer Gil Cates says that "The show is going on. I'm looking forward to it. We're on schedule and, Hallelujah, I can't wait until the 24th". The WGA might have something to say about that. They may still cut a deal with the Academy, but they've already said that they won't give planned Oscar host Jon Stewart a pass to write for the show (he hadn't actually asked). An Oscar show without any writing would be a strange beast indeed. Terrifyingly it could potentially still allow the Stomp and interpritive dance acts of years past, since they don't need words. Nobody needs to see that.
If the ceremony is cancelled, it'll be a huge financial problem for the entertainment industry. The cancellation of a telecast would mean a lot of money lost in advertising revenue for ABC (some reports say over $100million), who broadcast it in America, but that's no particular concern for cinemagoers. Nor is the incalculable loss of publicity for the fashion industry, who rely on the 'Oh you look FAHbulous! What are you wearing?' chat on the red carpet and subsequent reporting in all media to boost their profile worldwide. There is, however, the chance that the Oscars becoming basically a non-event this year could cost millions at the box office. An Oscar win, or even a nomination, can give a financial boost to a movie (this is often known as the 'Oscar bounce'). This can mean a massive leap for smaller independents. There's of course every chance that it won't effect the grosses, if press reports on the results stay high, but if reporting on the ceremony is reduced and the public are less aware of what won then less people will go and see the movies and that means less money for other films. This financial hit will be the WGA's strongest card. If the industry knows it stands to lose even more cash, then they might be more amenable to an agreement that will end the strike. Equally, if the WGA back down on this then they look like a soft touch.
But, whatever the arguments, it seems sure that some kind of event will go ahead and probably something more than a press conference. It could be more muted and you might see more winners doing a Sarandon and raising a fist in support of the WGA, if indeed they turn up at all. It might be a quieter show without the topical gags, but we can take solace in at least one thing: it's not likely to overrun.
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Posted on Wednesday January 9, 2008, 14:47
Yes. I have foreseen it.
Posted on Wednesday January 9, 2008, 16:56
Fuck writing beforehand. Thats for cowards. Jon Stewart should do it off-the-cuff. In fact, everyone should ad lib. I hate those shit pre-written jokes that the people presenting the awards always come out with.
Posted on Wednesday January 9, 2008, 17:25
Screw solidarity, the WGA are pompous morons.
Posted on Wednesday January 9, 2008, 17:57
I'm with the writer's guild here, I wanna see the Academy toppled.
The Oscars arent fair anyway, they're just given to films that'll keep money in the american industry.
Roll on the STRIKE!
SCREW THE OSCARS!
SCREW EM ALL!
Posted on Wednesday January 9, 2008, 23:18
I laugh at the attitude of the previous poster. The purpose of the strike isn't to "screw" other people over, but to reach an agreement, or have you forgotten about that? There are people, both writers and others, suffering over this.
I think Jon Stewart will do fine. His Daily Show is back on without writers, and he still had jokes.
Posted on Wednesday January 9, 2008, 23:32
The oscars are pure bullshit. Take this as an example: which of the following nominees for best picture of 1994 are more fondly remembered today; Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption or Forrest Gump?
All they are are ill-begotten awards for films with a big budget for advertising.
Frankly if the Oscars are cancelled I will see that as a victory for the independant filmmaker
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2008, 00:08
Screw the WGA...Jon Stuart has shown, with airing of his frist show, that he doesn't need a pen and paper to run a show! Infact he should do the Oscar show off the cuff! No oscars?! The GG thts all good but come on, why don't they just use it as a platform to tell the world of this great injustice that is being done to them.They always try to politicise their acceptance speaches anyway, it always makes for agood show:) I hope that they can come to some agreement on the issue because this quite frankly is getting a little bit ridiculous.
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2008, 00:22
John Stewart on his own, on stage with a tombola, draws out the winners at random. Daniel Day-Lewis will grab best supporting actress and Julie Christie will win best sound design. It'll be the greatest Oscars ever. Since everybody's failed to show it'll just be Jack Nicholson clapping from the front row in his shades, accepting them all on their behalf.
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2008, 09:49
Would the writers really be so arrogant as to forbid anybody to go to the Oscars, thus rendering it pointless? (more pointless then usual) I support them to an extent but they aren't the only people in the film industry that matter. I hope the show isn't cancelled because I was planning on watching it!
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2008, 10:41
So if the Globes are off and the Oscars look unlikely doesn't that mean that the Bafta awards are the biggest awards show of the season? Its a shame it will be ruined by the moron Jonathan Ross, Bring back Fry, Bring back Fry (repeat forever or until throat gets sore).
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2008, 14:04
Yes it will make the BAFTA,s THE event of the awards season,only if the WGA dont get their paws on it.It could be the most star packed in years-nice,as for the Oscars it dont look good does it ? i have heard that the WGA has got their eyes on the Granmmys as well,what will they allow eh ?
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2008, 16:34
Really don't care if they get cancelled. Can't remember I actually sat through the sickeningly gaudy, backslap fest for a load of overprivileged and undertalented tossers....
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2008, 19:11
There's no way the writers are going to issue a waiver for the Oscars it'd make them look weak, which they clearly aren't. Is it really so much to ask for 3 cents more per DVD? You could cover the cost with the advertising revenue the Oscars generates. The writers won't cave and if this keeps going till June when the Actors and Directors deals are up for negotiation they Studios are gonna be absolutely screwed.
Cancel the Oscars, let John Stewart do an ad-libbed comedy set and we'd all be a lot happier. Plus then the BAFTAs will get a little more of the attention they deserve( as mentioned before, bring back Fry!).
Posted on Thursday January 10, 2008, 21:59
I was wondering the same thing as the previous poster - will the BAFTAs get more attention this year, as they aren't affiliated with the WGA and can go ahead as usual?
Posted on Friday January 11, 2008, 17:59
Fantastic, no Oscars = a lot of superficial people deprived of the oxygen of publicity.
If you believe that the wealthiest people in the film industry deserve more cash, at the expense of the people who put them there (ie: the writers), then I guess you are only interested in being entertained yourself, and screw how the process happens. In which case, screw you too, you are as bad as the enemies of the WGA...
Love the irony that the US consumer is collapsing at the same time as no new programming begins to hit into leisure time. This is a vicious circle, Americans will now get dumber as they spend more time in front of their TVs than before for cost reasons...and will have only reality TV and reruns to entertain them.
You reap what you sow, Bush...
Posted on Sunday January 13, 2008, 17:54
It won't be the BAFTAs which are the biggest event, surely the Empire awards will be?!
Posted on Sunday January 13, 2008, 20:04
The 'stars' would look pretty stupid if - after pledging solidarity with the WGA and boycotting the Golden Globes - they then went to the Oscars. If the strike doesn't get resolved before the big day, I can't see the fully fledged 'do' happening. Not a bad thing to the average film goer when all's said and done as all that desperate publicity hunting on the red carpet (ie who's showing more boobs, leg, ridiculous hair style, etc) , but I do feel sorry for the production crew who would have been up for an award - the cinematographer, production designer, etc. They seem to get sidelined quite enough at other awards (stand up BAFTA) to not get an appreciative nod at the Oscars.
Posted on Monday January 14, 2008, 10:35
What about our own BAFTA's? Are our own writers and actors supporting/involved in the strike?
Posted on Monday January 14, 2008, 16:36
Regardless of whether Steward elects to do his bit off the cuff or whether the presenters can come up with their own shit jokes, shouldn't the main questions be whether the WGA plan to demo the event (if it goes ahead) and whether any of the actors will cross a picket line just to show off their frocks. The majority of the nominees seem to be quite politically minded and i can't see them wanting to be seen as unsupportive to the writers in either event.
Why don't the studios just cave and give them what they want. Without the writers and the talent they demonstrate on a daily basis the industry is nothing anyway.
Posted on Wednesday January 16, 2008, 12:36
I support the WGA and agree they should be better credited for their work but i dont think cancelling the oscars is the best way to go about it.
OK money will be lost and stars wont show of their frocks but it is one of the most widely watched events every year and the cancellation of it will result in many people missing out on something that had become a tradition to them.
i have watched it every year for the last 13 years and would hate to miss one due to this strike.
everything is about compromise. ok there would not be great films without the writers but without big american film companies the writers would not be able to share their art.
at the end of the day, its us the movie goers that are going to miss out