LOS ANGELES — The Golden Globe Awards were thrust into deeper jeopardy Wednesday when the striking writers guild refused to negotiate with Globe organizers about staging a picket-free ceremony.
The actors union then said it would advise celebrity nominees and presenters to boycott the show, which is scheduled to be televised Jan. 13 on NBC. That would rob the boozy, informal affair of the star power that makes the Globes the official kickoff to Hollywood's awards season.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which stages the Globes, had hoped last-minute negotiations with the Writers Guild of America would allow the show to go on. But the guild said Wednesday afternoon that striking writers still intend to picket.
"The WGA has great respect and admiration for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but we are engaged in a crucial struggle that will protect our income and intellectual property rights for generations to come," it said in a statement. "We will continue to do everything in our power to bring industry negotiations to a fair conclusion."
Jorge Camara, president of the HFPA, said in a statement earlier Wednesday that the organization was negotiating with the guild to reach an "an interim agreement" that would "ultimately permit the Golden Globe Awards to be broadcast as scheduled, without picket lines."
Twenty million people watched last year's ceremony on NBC. The network had no comment Wednesday.
Some Hollywood observers have theorized that without scripts and celebrities, awards shows might have to return to the relatively private affairs they were before television rather than risk embarrassment. Yet the organizations behind the Oscars and Globes are heavily dependent on the tens of millions of dollars their broadcasts bring in from network licensing deals, which may force them to televise their shows anyway.
The Globes organizers sought an agreement similar to the one reached Friday by David Letterman's production company. It allows guild members to write for "The Late Show With David Letterman" despite the strike, which began Nov. 5. Letterman's show returned to the air Wednesday night.
"'The Late Show with David Letterman' and the 'Golden Globe Awards' are similar in structure and are administered in the same way" because each is produced by an independent company and neither is owned by the networks that broadcast them, Camara's statement continued.
Letterman's show is produced by Worldwide Pants. The Golden Globe Awards are produced by dick clark productions.
The guild statement said dick clark productions is among those that have been struck.
"As previously announced, the Writers Guild will be picketing the Golden Globe Awards," it said.
Celebrity nominees and presenters are unlikely to attend the ceremony, according to a statement issued Wednesday by Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg.
"Unless and until there is an agreement between the WGA and HFPA, we will advise our members of their rights with respect to not crossing WGA picket lines and/or not appearing on programs using non-union writers," he said.
Rosenberg said a meeting with Golden Globe actor nominees was scheduled for later this week.