Type keyword(s) to search


Emmy producers are ticked off with Seth Rogen and The Queen's Gambit's Scott Frank -- but not Conan O'Brien

  • Ian Stewart and Reginald Hudlin, who returned after producing last year's Pandemic Emmys, to oversee the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards answered all burning questions about the ceremony to Variety, including why there were random people in the background, why the show went long and what was left on the cutting room floor -- including a Bernie Sanders sketch. They also expressed disappointment with Rogen raising pandemic concerns from the get-go by saying "they lied to us" while presenting the first award of the night. Stewart, pointing out that Rogen didn't bring up his concerns during rehearsals, expressed frustration because they had spent months working with Los Angeles' health authorities to ensure the ceremony would be safe. “It made three months of very hard work and many, many discussions to get it absolutely right feel a little bit wasted, really,” Stewart says. “And then we just sort of played catch up. Because we wanted the audience to know how safe it was in there. We work in this industry, we’re desperately aware of COVID. I’ve done 50 productions nearly in COVID and not have people get sick. So, it’s deeply frustrating.” As for Frank's long speech, Stewart said: “I don’t want to go through that again. It’s a simple equation. These people are professionals. They understand what’s going on, it’s their industry. It’s not a sports awards. So they know what they are doing and the simple fact is, they know there’s only a finite amount of time. I’d love them to be able to speak for half an hour if they wanted to. But we don’t have that time. So it’s a simple equation. If you think that you have to speak for four or five minutes, that means somebody else can’t. It’s just incredibly disrespectful to your fellow nominees.” The producers did approve of Conan O'Brien's heckling of TV Academy CEO Frank Scherma, although they initially had no idea what was happening. “It was such a surprise to us, that our cameras were pointing forward, and we couldn’t figure out what was going on,” Stewart said. “And Frank is such a professional and he speaks so well, for him to sort of stop, we were like, ‘what? what is happening?’ And it wasn’t until that point that they spun around and found that Conan had entered the fray. I mean it was fun, and Frank took it in such good humor. I love those moments, that’s what we love as producers. When those things happen that you didn’t know was going to happen. And you know he was only doing it in good humor.” Stewart also explained why there were so many people in the background. It was a function of the space. “Nowhere was safe, because we were shooting in every direction, all the time,” Stewart said. “It was both a party, an awards show, and a crew space of people doing their jobs. And also some of those people walking in the back of shots were literally people coming back from the toilet. We had intended it to be a bit loose. But also you can’t always dictate where someone’s going to walk or talk either. Sometimes you’re spinning around seeing things that you’d rather not see.” Meanwhile, Hudlin explained that the Emmys went long because there were three additional categories added to the show, at six minutes per category.


    TOPICS: Seth Rogen, CBS, 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, Conan O'Brien, Ian Stewart, Reginald Hudlin, Scott Frank, Award Shows, Emmys