Depp, Witherspoon win People's Choice Awards

Updated: 2008-01-09 15:12

U.S. actor Johnny Depp attends a news conference in Tokyo January 9, 2008, to promote his latest film "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street". The film opens on January 19 in Japan. [Agencies]


Johnny Depp and Reese Witherspoon were among the celebrities who won People's Choice Awards on Tuesday in a televised program that was drastically altered due to the Hollywood writers strike.

Instead of receiving their statuettes to great applause during a traditional awards ceremony, the recipients taped acceptance speeches for a canned broadcast that aired on CBS.

The event's organizers were forced to change their plans last month because the Writers Guild of America is refusing to allow many awards shows to hire union writers and actors are not crossing the writers' picket lines.

This one-two punch knocked out the Golden Globes on Monday, reducing that awards gala to a news conference next Sunday.

Roughly 10,500 Writers Guild members went on strike against Hollywood's major studios in November in a dispute that centers on fees writers want when their work appears on the Internet.

The strike has ended production of TV shows, derailed films and altered many awards shows that air at this time of year.

In all, there were 38 categories for the 34th annual People's Choice Awards, split among film, TV and music. Winners were voted on by audiences, and Queen Latifah hosted the two-hour telecast in a "magazine-style" TV format.

Speeches by presenters that would have been written by striking union members in a traditional awards ceremony were dropped, and the winners avoided having to cross a live broadcast's picket lines by taping speeches in advance.

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