Come hell or high water, they will give out Oscars!

Even with War, the Oscars Will Go on — Producers
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – War with Iraq or no war, the Oscars show will go on, organizers vowed on Monday as they brought together the class of 2002 for the annual nominees lunch and delivered the traditional and often ignored warning about keeping acceptance speeches short and sweet.
The nominees crammed the stage for the traditional “class picture” with director Martin Scorsese scrunched next to Salma Hayek. Nicolas Cage, wearing loud print shirt and blue jeans, took a spot on the far left and later Jack Nicholson could be seen huddling in deep conversation with Nicole Kidman.
The photo was followed by a handing out of nomination certificates in A to Z order. “How did you like the spelling bee,” asked Renee Zellweger, a nominee for best actress for her work as the killer showgirl in “Chicago,” a musical based on murder, mayhem and the great American desire for 15 full minutes of fame.
Marty Richards, the septuagenarian producer of “Chicago” who spent more than two decades trying to get the hit musical to the screen, seemed among the most overjoyed people in the room — so overjoyed he was even thinking of thanking O.J. Simpson should the film win a best picture Oscar on March 23.
“This nomination proves that old guys can work,” he said, adding, “I feel like I have been working on this since my Bar Mitzvah. I started working with Bob Fosse a year after the show opened in 1975 and we were in pre-production for six years when he died and I had to put the project in the drawer.
“Then a few years ago, Harvey Weinstein called me and we started again. I tried to get Baz Luhrman to direct and was told Madonna wanted to star but we had to wait until we saw O.J. Simpson on television before things started to make sense,” he said.
Richards added, “We owe it all to O.J.” — a reference to “Chicago’s” theme of how a woman accused of murder becomes a national celebrity, achieving a fame not unlike that of Simpson who was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in what was called “The Trial of the Century.”
The Oscar show’s producer, Gil Cates, told nominees that the show will go on whether or not there is a war with Iraq.
But he cautioned, “If we go to war, the telecast will reflect that reality both in those parts of the show that we can control and those parts that we can’t control — your acceptance speeches.
“The show will go on and our purpose remains the same as it has for 75 years — to celebrate our art form and honor its most accomplished practioneers.”
Cates also warned nominees, “If you pull out a piece of paper and start to read a list of names — you’re done. The orchestra will begin to play and you are finished.”
A who’s who of nominees were asked in a luncheon press conference if the show should go on in the event of war and the consensus was yes but that the tone should be somber and respectful.
The Oscars have never been postponed for reasons of war — but they were delayed for a matter of days by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and by the shooting of President Ronald Reagan.
“You should still have it but the tone should change. The Oscars are not a political forum but a prayer for peace would be all right,” said Ed Harris, nominated for best supporting actor for his work in “The Hours.”
Daniel Day-Lewis, nominated for best actor for his part in “Gangs of New York,” said it would be very difficult and it “would seem a bit obscene if we (danced) up a red carpet while people were dying.”