The Tarnished Golden Globes

There were no stars at this year's Golden Globes ceremony—except for Julia Roberts. OK, so it wasn't really Julia. It was Jeandra Larson, 24, who dressed like the prostitute from "Pretty Woman" to protest the writer's strike alongside her mother, Cheri, a movie studio nurse who has been laid off from her job because of the labor mess in Hollywood. But who, exactly, was Larson picketing against as she walked outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel? "I'm supporting the characters from the movies," Jeandra said. Her message: unemployed Hollywood needs to go back to work.

Judging from last night's glitterless, starless and soulless Globes press conference, the message couldn't have registered any louder. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of 100 foreign journalists, was forced to hand out its awards without any of the nominees after the striking Writers Guild of America threatened to picket the event, forcing actors to stay home. Then NBC lost its right to broadcast the names of the winners exclusively, causing E! and the TV Guide channel to show up for their own telecasts. But maybe everyone should've just stayed away.

Instead of a three-hour awards show, there was a 30-minute laundry list of winners announced by a group of blonde—and bland—anchors from "The Insider," "Showbiz Tonight" and "E! News." Most of them flubbed their big moment, either by gushing about how they never believed they'd be handing out a Golden Globe or marveling at how different these Globes felt. And over at NBC, still smarting over having lost their precious little corner of the awards season, the network didn't even bother to broadcast the winners as they were actually announced; they had their "Access Hollywood" anchors do the deed—with even less excitement than the show deserved, if that's even possible. No wonder that Jorge Camara, the association's president, paced backstage with his teeth clenched, as the minutes seemed to tick down in slow motion.

Overall, the mood was awfully grim at the unceremonious ceremony. The hotel's ballroom, usually full of celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, flowed with bored journalists and publicists. The dress code was less black tie than black leather jacket and jeans. One photographer was so desperate for something to shoot he aimed his camera at the half-eaten fruit table. At one point, someone famous seemed to enter the room—to the paparazzi's great relief. And then a sigh of disappointment. It was only Mary Hart, the "Entertainment Tonight" anchor, who smiled nervously at the confused crowd. "This is really an interesting turn of events," she said.

The biggest topic of conversation was whether the Grammys or Oscars would be canceled next. The winners, if you care—and nobody did—were "Atonement" for best picture drama and "Sweeney Todd" for best picture musical comedy. Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") and Julie Christie ("Away From Her") won best acting in a drama. Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd") and Marion Cotillard ("La Vie En Rose") were lauded for their musically comedic performances. "Mad Men" and "Extras" won best TV series, along with Glenn Close ("Damages"), David Duchovny ("Californication"), Tina Fey ("3O Rock") and Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"). With no acceptance speeches, maybe they should've just let the striking Julia inside. At least there would've been something to talk about.