Academy has enough Oscar statuettes, despite labor dispute
A Chicago labor dispute won't affect February's Oscars ceremony, according to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak, because the academy has dozens of statuettes stockpiled.
"Here’s the good news, we’re all set for this year," Sherak said. "We’re always a year ahead. We have extras, because we don’t know how many people are gonna be involved in a given year. I can't tell you where they are, but they’re all under lock and key."
Contract discussions between R.S. Owens & Co., longtime manufacturer of the Oscar and Emmy statuettes, and 50 teamsters have stalled over issues of wage and benefit cuts. On Dec. 6, the Chicago Teamsters issued a press release calling on Hollywood unions to back their cause.
“From the Screen Actors Guild to the Directors Guild of America, most celebrities who get an Oscar are in a union themselves,” said Donnie Von Moore, president of Teamsters Local 743, in the press release. “They know how crucial unions are to protecting livelihood. What the workers at R.S. Owens need now is union support.”
R.S. Owens has manufactured about 40 statuettes a year for the academy since 1983, at a cost of about $900 per Oscar, Sherak said.
"I’m hoping they work out their problems so we can continue with the great service we’re getting year after year," he said.
The 84th Academy Awards will be broadcast live by ABC on Feb. 26 from the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.
Photo: Statuettes backstage at the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2011. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times