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Can the Golden Globes Survive Without Actors?

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With yesterday's revelation that all 72 actors nominated for the upcoming Golden Globes are expected to not attend the January 13th ceremony, the appeal of the telecast comes sharply into question. The decision was made by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in order to show solidarity to their fellow strikers, and was announced by their union president Alan Rosenberg, who said: "After considerable outreach to Golden Globe actor nominees and their representatives over the past several weeks, there appears to be unanimous agreement that these actors will not cross WGA picket lines to appear on the Golden Globe Awards as acceptors or presenters," (E! Online).

NBC, the network airing the first major evening of glitz and glamor in the industry's annual awards season, says they plan to go ahead with the broadcast. But this leaves many to speculate: Without the star power, what's the point?

Awards shows, notoriously long and self-congratulatory in nature, have their draw located in the spectacle of luxuriously adorned celebrities--a vast majority of them actors--arriving on the red carpet, providing fodder for talk of best and worst dressed for Joan Rivers and office water cooler chatters alike. And once the ubiquitous "And the Golden Globe goes to..." is declared, what will happen upon the announcement of the recipient's name? Without the teeth-gnashing anticipation shots of the nominees in the audience, the cut to the winner whose face registers shock or glee, and the following takes of the losers who are forced to smile bravely through their likely disappointment, what the hell is there to care about? Who will even present the awards in the first place?

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ABC news is reportingthat "On Friday, a dozen publicity firms representing what they called a majority of Golden Globe-nominated actors, writers and directors, as well as many stars invited to appear as presenters, released a letter sent to NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker" which said that many of the talent they represent would not feel right crossing picket lines to participate in the show. Coming to an agreement with the WGA are the terms for attendance, the letter goes on to explain.

Inasmuch as the craft and art of film and television creation and realization are deserving to be honored, the stark reality is that shows like the upcoming Globes are only interesting to most people because of the star power--a fact clearly not wasted on those refusing to participate. Will this force the hand of the major players in the strike that has been on since early November? Or do we trot out the old Hollywood adage: 'The show must go on!" If that's the case, seat-fillers, get your asses toned up; the Globes are going to have a lot of chairs to fill.

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr