The Emmy Awards’ boss is under fire for category fraud.
If you read the Emmy nominations last week and thought to yourself “wait, what the fuck? How is Orange is the New Black nominated in all the comedy categories, I don’t remember laughing in season two,” well, you’re not alone. In fact, so many people read the nominations and thought it was suspicious that the Academy’s chief executive Bruce Rosenblum had to give an interview “explaining” how the nominations ended up the way they did.
Let’s see what he had to say for himself.
The television dramas Shameless and Orange Is the New Black are up for the comedy Emmy this year. The miniseries True Detective is competing as a drama series. And the drama series Treme is competing as a miniseries. Confused yet?
I will never, ever be over Orange being nominated in the comedy category. It’s a great show and I love it, but comedies, as a rule, shouldn’t make you sob.
After a week of criticism for the shock snub of some of television’s best drama series in the best drama, writing and directing categories, the Emmy Awards today came under fire for “category fraud”.
Exactly what they deserve.
Appearing at a television industry panel to promote the 66th prime-time Emmy Awards, scheduled for August this year, the Academy’s chief executive Bruce Rosenblum had to duck as media quizzed him on growing concern over irregularities with the night’s categorisation of programs.
Worse, the line of questioning inferred that networks and studios were deliberately “gaming” the awards by cynically exploiting loopholes in what many agree is a cumbersome and confusing set of regulations.
Finally people are onto all of the dramas jamming up the comedy section every year.
Acknowledging the problem has grown in recent years, Rosenblum said there were “some subtle rules that, as an organisation, we should take a look at [which have] enabled the shows to move into the categories they’re in.”
Rosenblum said the issue was not new, referring to earlier cases such as drama series Desperate Housewives submitting as a comedy. At the time it was widely understood the decision had been made because the show had no chance of making the cut in the more competitive drama category.
Just because it’s not a new problem doesn’t make it okay, though. The danger of nominating shows like Orange and Shameless and even Girls, which leans more towards drama than comedy most of the time is that voters’ will ALWAYS choose the one that tugs at the heartstrings over the one that consistently makes them laugh because there’s a misconception that drama > comedy (which is total, total bullshit). If a drama can’t cut it in the drama category then it shouldn’t be nominated, end of story, and critically acclaimed shows like Shameless and Orange should be competing with their equals, the True Detectives, the Breaking Bads, etc., rather than looking for an easy win by stealing a nomination/win from a deserving comedy.
“This isn’t a new issue for the Academy to face,” Rosenblum said. “Should we look and maybe define the rules more carefully? It’s probably something we should take a look at.”
This guy sounds like a moron and an asshole and I just hate him so much right now. Like why are you asking the interviewer what you should do? You’re the fucking boss of the Emmys, run your shit right, mate. Obviously the rules are fucked up if there’s enough discrepancies that you have to do an interview about it, so stop pussyfooting around and sort it the fuck out.
Defending against criticism that the Emmy categories are either too loosely defined, or poorly policed, Rosenblum said the issue was not with the awards themselves, but with changes in the television industry.
And were those changes happening back when Desperate Housewives got nominated as a comedy because really, the influx of Netflix and HBO dramas has only happened in the last, what, five years? And Desperate Housewives was long, long before that.
“What’s happened is that our industry has evolved,” he said. “[In the past] we didn’t have Netflix doing shows, or HBO ordering eight episodes of a series like True Detective.
Yes, but if you’re nominating Treme as a miniseries and True Detective as series in the same year, surely at some point you look at that and think “that’s not right, how has this happened? This needs to be fixed.”
“We need to be responsive to the way that the industry is evolving, to be reflective of the kinds of shows that are being produced … not to respond to criticism, but respond to the evolution that’s taking place in our business.”
You are being responsive, the problem is that there are more exceptional dramas on TV than there ever has been before, and your response has been to put any drama that’s ever had a comedic moment in the comedy section, thereby fucking all your comedy nominees out of any chance of being recognised within their own field.
The panel, which also included the event’s executive producer Don Mischer and writer/producer Mike Shoemaker, also took heat from media about the exclusion of some of TV’s best shows from last week’s Emmy nominations.
Shows such as The Good Wife, Sons of Anarchy, Ray Donovan and The Walking Dead were ignored in the best drama, writing and directing categories, in favour of established favourites such as House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Mad Men.
Mischer said the Emmys were not a popularity contest. “[They] are an industry award,” he said. “How many people watch the product is not as important as the quality of the product.”
That said, many of the overlooked shows are also cable dramas with small audiences, and in the case of The Good Wife, it is not the show’s popularity which caused surprise at its exclusion, but rather the almost uniform opinion it has just delivered one of the strongest seasons of any TV drama.
Really? I don’t watch The Good Wife. Should I watch The Good Wife? Please tweet me your opinions @stefinitely85 xo
Rosenblum said the Academy’s membership, which totals almost 19,000 industry professionals working in a range of disciplines, did “a good job of choosing the best of television this year”.