The Emmys changed their rules – But still fail to be relevant
Similar to the Oscars, the Emmy Awards have been messing with their categories for the 2020 awards, though theirs don’t involve extending the entry period. The 2020 awards are still set to go on as expected in September, except with more nominees.
Both the Best Comedy Series and Best Drama Series were boosted up to eight nominees each, and the rest of the categories will now be able to include up to eight nominees if the amount of submissions support it.
It’s great to see the Emmy Awards giving more chances for performers and creators to be recognized for their work. Except, they’ve had 71 years to honor proper celebrities and failed to do so properly. Just like the Oscars and Golden Globes, the Emmys are just a popularity contest for celebrities, and fail to recognize all of Hollywood.
Bare minimum diversity
Do you know when the first black woman won Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series? In 2015, to Viola Davis for How to Get Away with Murder. It took over 60 years for a black woman to win Best Lead Actress. In the past 10 years alone, the only women of color nominated in that category were Davis, Kerry Washington, Sandra Oh, and Taraji P. Henson.
When you look across all the major categories, the number of black winners is a shame, as that’s a huge demographic in Hollywood. Donald Glover may have swept in 2017 for Atlanta, but he was only the first black director and second black actor to win for comedy. Maybe more nominations will help diversify the nominees, but it’s still all about the money.
A PR stunt gone viral
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences started the Emmy Awards as a PR stunt to improve their image and entice actors to join. Considering the whole reason the ATA&S was created was to make TV more than just glitz and glamour, it seems like the message fell to the wayside.
Friends helping friends, studios helping studios
Just like the Oscars, the Emmy Awards are notorious for their “For Your Consideration” campaigns that studios dump millions into. Whether it be offering their screeners on a mobile platform, sending ridiculously extravagant box sets for screeners, or bombarding every entertainment website’s advertising, they’ll do what it takes to get in people’s faces.
Even the Television Academy themselves recognize this ridiculousness, and offer their own opportunities for studios to get in on the campaign. Heck, FYC campaigns is what got Netflix taken seriously by the Academy and allowed to enter into the Emmys.
But these campaigns end up turning into insane shows of money. The big networks drop millions into personalized experiences, free lunches, meet and greets, and plenty more opportunities to get the show name in front of voters’ faces. Then, voters remember their friends when it comes time to cast their ballots, and vote for the show that spent the most money.
Irrelevancy at its finest
Similar to its sister show the Oscars, the Emmy Awards have been dropping in rating in recent years, failing to gather the same steam they once had. Even with online TV at an all time high, people no longer care if something is “traditionally good”. There’s a reason 13 Reasons Why got three more seasons than it should and yet One Day at a Time got canned.
The Emmys just need to accept the fact that mainstream audiences don’t care about awards anymore. An Emmy nomination isn’t going to convince someone to watch a show they weren’t interested in in the first place. No amount of rule changes or advertising will change that.