World

TV Academy in Hot Water With The WGA After Axing Popular Segement From Primetime Emmy Awards

Nov
28,
2023

Can any of these award shows get it right? On the heels of The Golden Globes allegations of regularly shunning actors based on race, it seems that the TV Academy is now shunning comedians. Specifically the kings of late night.

Emmy Statues Atmosphere 1 GettyImages 76887712 H 2022
Image: Emmy Statue (Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage)

So, lets get this sorted. Late night hosts like Jimmey Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Conan, and others can be asked to host the Primetime Emmys but when it comes to winning an award it doesn’t pass muster?

“We didn’t spend months on strike, fighting to receive the recognition we deserve for the work we help create, only to be pushed to the sidelines when it comes time to do exactly that,” WGA leadership responded in light of the snub.

The TV Academy has decided to move forward with this year’s Primetime Emmy’s without a category for Late Night which normally is featured in the popular award show. In an email sent on Tuesday to members of the WGA East and West, the guild’s top leadership — including WGA East president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen and WGA West president Meredith Stiehm — calls the TV Academy’s move a “regrettable decision” and one “without any justification or defensible reason” which “devalues our profession.” They elaborate by noting that the guild has raised its objections directly with the TV Academy and is “strongly advocating to have the category remain in the primetime televised program.”

Currently the presentation section of the outstanding writing for a variety series/special award from the Primetime Emmys telecast that will take place on Jan. 15, 2024 is off the table. Yikes!

The WGA writes, “If the Television Academy can make this decision without any justification, we worry that it could set a precedent for them to remove other writing categories in the years to come,” adding, “We didn’t spend months on strike, fighting to receive the recognition we deserve for the work we help create, only to be pushed to the sidelines when it comes time to do exactly that.”

The full text of the email appears below:

Dear Members,

The Television Academy has made the regrettable decision to not present the “Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series/Special” Awards during the main Emmy Awards telecast. They did this without any justification or defensible reason.

The Guild has been in touch with the Academy to convey our objection to this decision, and we are strongly advocating to have the category remain in the primetime televised program on January 15, 2024.

This doesn’t just impact the people who write on the Emmy-nominated shows for a given year — this decision devalues our profession as a whole. The Emmys are fundamentally about celebrating excellence in television, and by removing these categories from the televised broadcast, the Television Academy is essentially ignoring how writing serves as the foundation for excellence in television.

We all know how many writers it takes to create these incredible programs, and that’s exactly the point: the shows we write for are watched, loved, shared — and, yes, even nominated for awards — because of our writing.

And if the Television Academy can make this decision without any justification, we worry that it could set a precedent for them to remove other writing categories in the years to come.

We didn’t spend months on strike, fighting to receive the recognition we deserve for the work we help create, only to be pushed to the sidelines when it comes time to do exactly that.

The WGAE and WGAW are strongly advocating to keep these categories in the primetime televised program, and we will continue to push the Television Academy to change their minds. 

We urge you – our fellow writers – to join us in championing the preservation of these categories in the main Emmys broadcast: Tweet at @TheEmmys or tag @televisionacad on Instagram to express your feelings about their decision, and to urge them to keep these categories on-air.

Thank you for your support. We will be in touch with further updates.