The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Prods.’ legal battle over the Golden Globes may be headed to court. Today, a federal judge denied DCP’s motion to dismiss HFPA’s Nov. 17 complaint against the longtime producer of the Golden Globes and its new owner, Red Zone. The ruling follows HFPA’s scathing Feb. 8 response to DCP’s motion to dismiss. “We are thrilled that the federal judge ruled in our favor that our lawsuit, claiming that DCP has no right to the Golden Globe Awards beyond 2011, has merit,” HFPA president Philip Berk said. “We will continue the fight to reclaim all of our rights.” In the original complaint, HFPA accused DCP of hijacking the Golden Globes and secretly negotiating a new deal with NBC behind the association’s back.
Lawyers for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association late last night filed a scathing response to dick clark prods. and Red Zone Capital Partners’ motion to dismiss HFPA’s Nov. 17 complaint against the long-time producer of the Golden Globes and its new owner. The 25-page opposition, filed in federal court, hits back at dcp’s argument that the two sides’ agreement allowed it to negotiate a new license deal with NBC. “dcp’s new owners had seized on a six-word sentence fragment and given it a brand new interpretation, completely at odds with the parties’ mutually shared understanding of the entire sentence and contract, dcp’s prior representations, and decades of the parties’ course of conduct,” the new filing reads. The clause in question is part of a 1993 amendment:
“Regardless of the legal proceedings with Red Zone and Dick Clark Productions, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will present the Sixty-Ninth Annual Golden Globe Awards Show as scheduled in January 2012. The show will go on, with or without dcp.”
The battle brewing was legally set into motion on Nov. 17. That’s when the HFPA sued Dick Clark Productions, accusing it of surreptitiously signing an eight-year broadcast agreement with NBC. Dick Clark Productions has already asked the United States District Court for the Central District of California to dismiss the complaint. Whatever happens, the schedule was being called into question now that the fighting has begun, and this statement is HFPA’s response to any doubts as to whether all of this can be wrapped up in time to put on a show in January. As for the trial’s start date, according to filings last week the proposed dates are December 1, 2011 and March 5, 2012.
With their joint production, the annual Golden Globes Awards, only days away, dick clark prods. on Friday, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. filed last month. “We have said from the onset that the case has no merit,” said a dcp spokesperson. ”We believe our rights under the contract are clear and are willing to live within its four corners. The HFPA apparently is not.”
dcp also stressed that before the production company got involved with the Golden Globes, the program had no television deal and that it helped re-establish the Golden Globes brand and set it up at NBC. “Now, with that success in hand, the HFPA is trying to unilaterally change the basis on which dcp and the HFPA have done business for almost three decades,” the dcp spokesperson said.
UPDATE: Dick Clark Prods. just released a statement in response to HFPA’s lawsuit against it.”The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., knowing it has no case in a court of law, is attempting to try this case in the court of public opinion,” the statement said. “We are confident the case has no merit in either venue. Our respective rights under the contract are clear. The HFPA cannot unilaterally change the basis on which DCP and the HFPA have done business for almost three decades.”
PREVIOUS: This is a sudden and pretty nasty falling out between the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Prods., which had been partnered on the Golden Globe Awards for the past two decades. The HFPA, the organization behind the awards, today filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Dick Clark Prods., the Red Zone Capital-owned company which produces the awards show. In the suit, filed this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, HFPA accuses DCP of “attempting to assume complete control over the rights to the show.” The complaint alleges that on Oct. 29, DCP secretly signed a new license agreement with NBC for the Golden Globe Awards that runs from 2012 through 2018 without consulting with the HFPA. “DCP acts as though it has unilateral right to license the broadcast rights for the Golden Globe Awards on whatever terms it pleases, without HFPA’s knowledge or authorization,” the suit said. DCP …