The scaled-down Globes was a disaster for films trying to gain publicity before the Oscars[EPA]

The Golden Globes, normally one of Hollywood's most high-profile awards shows and a good indicator of who is in with a chance at the Oscars, was reduced to a news conference following the ongoing strike by screenwriters.

The two month-old strike by the Writers Guild of America led to the 65th annual Globes being turned into a speedy presentation on Sunday without any leading stars.

It is the biggest casualty yet of the strike that began on November 5 and has disrupted US prime-time television programming and schedules.

Organisers were forced to cancel their usual three-hour broadcast on the NBC station after the actors union said it would boycott the event in deference to the striking writers.

Nominees and other stars refused to cross picket lines after the writers guild said it had planned pickets outside the show if organisers tried to stage the usual ceremony.

A 30-minute news conference was held instead, with the winners announced by TV gossip show reporters.

"I wish circumstance would allow me to be there," Cate Blanchett, the Australian actress who won the supporting-actress prize for the Bob Dylan film, I'm Not There, said in a statement.

With the Globes spectacle ruined, everyone in Hollywood was left wondering if the same fate might befall Oscar night on February 24.

Profit share

"I just hope this whole thing gets cleared up before the Academy Awards, because it would really be a tragedy if a similar fate transpired for them," said Richard Zanuck, the producer of Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp which won the Globe for best musical or comedy.

 

Writers are on strike over
Internet profits [EPA]
The Writers Guild went on strike over members' share of potential profits from programming on the Internet and other new media.

Talks between writers and producers have been stalled for a month, though over the weekend the Directors Guild of America began its own negotiations with producers, and any deal the union negotiates might prompt writers to follow suit.

The Golden Globes are normally one of Hollywood's most high-profile nights with a lavish dinner attended by top Hollywood stars.

Last year, 20 million viewers tuned in to the show and the loss of television revenue and exposure will be a blow to the films that won on Sunday and are also vying for attention at the box office and at the Oscars.

The film Atonement, based on Ian McEwan's novel, was one of four double-winners along with Sweeney Todd, the French-language drama The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, and the violent thriller No Country For Old Men from the Cohen brothers.

Source: Agencies