Writers’ Union at the Tipping Point?

Whether or not it grants a waiver to the Grammy awards, the writers’ guild is at a critical moment with regard to public relations. America didn’t seem to mind too much when it was denied the red-carpet spectacle and drunken acceptance speeches of the Golden Globes, but the Grammys may start edging public opinion in the other direction. And the Oscars are a whole other story. Although a star-less Academy Awards wouldn’t bring the rioting in the streets that would occur with the quasi-cancellation of the country’s other blow-out event, the Super Bowl, a year without a conventional Oscars might cause the writers to lose what tenuous sympathy they still have.

America has already tacitly thumbed its nose at the strike by favoring the returning scab Leno over a returning non-scab Letterman, and by voting that ultra-scab Ellen DeGeneres its favorite television personality — not to mention the big ratings for “writerless” reality shows like “American Gladiator.” Of course the writers’ union knows that America, apparently, can get along without scripted entertainment, especially this year when the Big Event so far is the election. But is the union prepared for what will happen if it disrupts the Oscars? Here’s hoping that the imminent agreement between the directors’ guild and the producers will lead to a settlement of sorts for the writers before a cancelled Academy Awards exhausts what much of the good will the scribes retain.

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