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    Spielberg's Golden Day on Hold, Oscars Still a Go

    Steven Spielberg can put off worrying about where he's going to put his 1 millionth trophy until next year.

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has decided that it will not present the prolific filmmaker with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement until 2009, now that the 2008 Golden Globe Awards have been canceled.

    And honoring the director behind Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, the Indiana Jones trilogy and E.T. during a network newscast just didn't boast the same cachet.

    The HFPA scrapped plans for the Globes on Monday after the Screen Actors Guild announced that not one of this year's nominated actors would attend out of solidarity with the striking Writers Guild of America.

    The WGA, which pointedly refused to issue a waiver that would have allowed scribes to work on the show, was planning to picket outside the Beverly Hilton on Sunday, which definitely would have made for an awkward red carpet leading up to what is generally billed as Hollywood's second-most glamorous night of the year.

    Instead, the awards will be handed out during an hourlong news conference to be covered live by NBC News, a move that that WGA West executive director David Young called a "scam" in an email sent to SAG leaders Monday afternoon.

    "It is a blatant ploy to get actors and other talent to attend the event," Young wrote. "It is the Globes under the name of a news conference. We have informed Dick Clark Productions that we will picket the event on Sunday."

    The stripped-down kudosfest will be preceded by a special installment of Dateline featuring interviews with some of the nominees. Party coverage was supposed to follow, but in light of the substantially subdued proceedings, most of the after-events—including bashes hosted by the Weinstein Co., NBC Universal-Focus Films, HBO, Warner Bros., Fox Searchlight and E! Entertainment—have been canceled. (E! Online is owned by E! Networks.)

    The writers' strike, which began Nov. 5 and has taken on an increasingly vitriolic vibe since talks between the guild and the studios shut down for the second time Dec. 7, has cost Los Angeles-area businesses an estimated $1.4 billion in revenue, per local economists, and the cancellation of the Globes will likely strip another $80 million from the bottom line.

    Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is insisting that, this year anyway, the Globes are not a sign of things to come and the 80th Annual Academy Awards will proceed as scheduled.

    "We are moving forward with planning for our show for Feb. 24, and at this point in time we're doing all the things we normally would be doing," Academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger told E! Online Tuesday. "There's voting, we're having meetings about the red carpet and the usual things are in the works."

    She said that more information about the Jan. 22 press conference during which this year's nominees will be announced should be coming next week.

    "We're not panicking. We're preparing our show, and we're moving forward," Academy president Sid Ganis told the Associated Press.

    Gil Cates, producer of ABC's Oscar telecast, added that the show will go on, with or without writers.

    Without, it is, presuming the strike hasn't been settled by showtime. WGA West president Patric Verrone said Tuesday that the guild, which has already turned down the Academy's standard application to use clips of films and past Oscar broadcasts, will not be granting any requests to employ striking writers for the Feb. 24 ceremony.

    Canceling the Oscars, and all the hullabaloo that goes with it, would cost the city about $130 million, economists say.

    Nominations for the 2008 Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22, after which we'll see whether the lure of Oscar gold will be any match for the guild's ironfisted will.

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