Wednesday, August 5, 2009

EMMYS FAIL

In recent news, members of the Writer's Guild of America West (WGAW) are actively protesting changes to the upcoming Emmy Awards broadcast - primarily the choice to remove writer's awards from the live feed. Outraged, a selection of executive producers and showrunners have petitioned the Emmy's producers to return the award show to its previously scheduled program:

http://wga.org/content/default.aspx?id=3702

Writers and television showrunners feel both that the honor of receiving an award would be lessened and that this decision reinforces a hierarchy of importance - putting writers and penmen at the rock bottom. To retort, host Neil Patrick Harris and executive producer Don Mischer spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the proposed changes and what they would entail:


Essentially, Emmy producers want to "trim the fat," as they say. By taping the writer's speeches before hand and editing out all the "hugging" and "aisle walking," they've decided to "accentuate" the more interesting parts of the awards ceremony and save time.

Interesting times, indeed. How would YOU decide, America?

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The Ozkirpinion:

It's not the end of the world. The Emmys, in purpose, are a little decadent and self-indulgent and a little bit of editing isn't going to ruin that for anyone. But, then again, isn't part of the Emmys for entertainers to congratulate their colleagues and give them a chance to show themselves to the world?

A lot of attention for TV shows drifts toward the series creators and the actors who play the parts. And, it makes sense - they're the literal faces of their respective programs and they're the metaphorical hooks that keep people coming back week after week. Writers rarely get the opportunity to stand out in the open and say, "Hey! Look at this awesome thing that I do and totally (read: usually) get paid for!" After so much time in the shadows, writing text, and developing the plots that keep people enticed, shouldn't they be allowed to come out into the daylight for just a little bit? True, the current Emmy programming would essentially allow for a degree of celebration discussed above, but why should the writers of programs be treated differently to begin with? "It might enhance viewership" seems to be the veil Emmy producers are hiding behind. Personally, I think it's bullshit. As Jason has noted below and as others have stated elswhere, "TV is a writer's medium." Why the hell should their walks down the aisle or their gratuitous hugging or self-celebration be any less important than anyone else's?

As I've said, it's not the end of the world. But, it doesn't have to be. A travesty is a travesty. And this, fellow Gentlemen, is the epitome of ungentlehood.

PS - Poor form, Neil Patrick Harris! I usually love most of what you do. But, then again, I remember Starship Troopers

5 comments:

AZ Winer said...

What I would really like to see, Oz, is YOUR opinion.

Jason Heat said...

TV is first and foremost a writer's medium. Cutting them from the telecast is ridiculous.

Matt Lindeboom said...

This is their comeuppance for going on that silly strike. Seriously, who pays writers anymore? The quicker writers realize that they work for free now, the sooner all this unpleasantness will be behind us. The same goes for eitdors

Jason Heat said...

yeah, I hate eitdors. They're almost as bad as those rascally atcors.

:)

Mimi said...

PS - I wish I didn't remember Starship Troopers.