Oscar nominees at the Academy Awards luncheon expressed hope for a settlement of the writers strike that will permit them to attend Hollywood's biggest night of the year, Variety reports. Actor George Clooney hailed an apparent weekend breakthrough in contract talks, and also called on the Screen Actors Guild to begin negotiating its contract in earnest. If the strike isn't settled in time, many stars are likely to skip the Oscars.
Clooney, a member of six unions, said he has never crossed a picket line and never will, but added: "It looks very good" that the writers may settle soon. Sicko director Michael Moore threatened to start a penny drive for studio heads if a deal isn't struck soon. "It's odd they shut the town down over a couple of pennies," he said.