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Gaslight: Today in Media History, The Globes are Less Golden - The LAMP

Gaslight: Today in Media History, The Globes are Less Golden

By January 13, 2011 News No Comments

January 13, 2008: Tabloid reporters, armchair fashion critics, celebrity worshippers and television networks were joined in disappointment as the Golden Globe Awards ceremony was reduced to a slightly-fancy press conference. The reason? On November 7, 2007, the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) went on strike, largely due to issues over compensation in the age of new media. Payment to writers for on-demand reruns, streaming, DVD residuals, television “webisodes” and other new media content was a sticking point for studio executives and WGA members as they negotiated their new contract, and, unable to reach an agreement, the WGA went on strike for 100 days. Members of the Screen Actor’s Guild pledged not to cross a picket line to attend an awards ceremony absent of writers, so award winners were announced without fanfare or stars in a conference room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The poor ratings–4.8, compared to the previous year’s 16.0–almost certainly helped spook executives to come to an agreement with the WGA one month later, just in time for the Academy Awards. By the end of the strike, Los Angeles county alone had lost an estimated $2.5 billion. Three years later, contracts are up once more for negotiation, with WGA members expected to approve this year’s priorities by January 24. Is more media history in the making?