Oscars President Wants Answer From WGA About Telecast

Posted on February 7, 2008

The Oscars bigwigs are putting pressure on the Writers Guild to give them an answer about whether the show will go on.

Academy prexy Sid Ganis has again reached out to the Writers Guild of America about Oscar's fate but still hasn't received an answer. "We're running out of time," he told Daily Variety.

WGA leaders obviously have a lot on their plate this week, but Ganis on Wednesday said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences needs to know ASAP "as a matter of logistics. We have nominees and potential presenters who live all over the globe. I'm nervous. We're getting down to the final moments; we need to make plans."

Guild reps have told reporters several times that they don't intend to grant the Academy a waiver, but have never given a definitive yes or no to the org itself. "We've asked several times for a waiver or a one-day truce to move ahead," Ganis said, with the latest request delivered Monday afternoon. WGA reps told the Academy that they could expect an answer sometime next week. Ganis said he is sympathetic to the guild's sensitivities at this time -- but next week is too late for a show that involves not only travel arrangements for dozens of people, but complicated plans for a stage show, TV production, etc.

Logic would dictate that since the guild gave waivers to such kudocasts as the Image Awards and the upcoming Grammys, then Oscar would be given the OK. But nothing's been firmed. Ganis is hopeful, because all 13 nominated screenwriters attended Monday's nominees luncheon at the BevHilton, as did James L. Brooks and Frank Pierson, who are governors of the Acad's writers branch. All the scripters were "thrilled at being there," Ganis said.

The Oscars staff has prepared two shows: one which uses writers and movie stars and one which doesn't. Needless to say, they'd rather have the one with the writers and actors. The WGA meets this weekend to look over a proposed settlement to the strike. If all goes well, the Oscars will move forward as planned, with a red carpet and everything. If not, then it will be something truly horrible like the fiasco that was the Golden Globes newscast.

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