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Controversy surrounds Emmy process
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2004 11:01:30 PM
The winners haven't even been announced yet and already there is controversy surrounding this year's Daytime Emmy Awards.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has decided that the media will not be able to screen the reels submitted by this year's nominees. This makes the Daytime Emmys the only major awards show in which the media is not permitted to view the clips.

The decision to keep the media out has prompted at least one person to boycott this year's Emmy ceremony.

Tom O'Neil, author of The Emmys, is outraged by the decision and had threatened not to attend this year's ceremony. Backstage, O'Neil frequently announces trivia bits about the winners and nominees.

Was NATAS wrong to block the press from viewing this year's Emmy reels?
Yes. The media deserves to be present to ensure fairness. 39%
No. I think the media is blowing this out of proportion. 17%
I really don't understand anything about the Emmy process. 14%
The outcome will be the same with or without the media. 14%
I think NATAS is mad that the media found their errors. 11%
My favorites weren't nominated -- so I don't really care 4%
Other 1%

Poll Posted: May 3rd, 2004
"Why did NATAS pull such a chutzpah ploy?" O'Neil asks on his winner prediction site "NATAS is wreaking revenge against the media for uncovering embarrassing past sins and it wants to make sure no further goofs can be uncovered. This media ban is a shocking betrayal of media ethics and a serious violation of the reason NATAS exists."

The goofs O'Neil refers to range from poor quality submission reels to entire scenes being left off of performer's reels.

In 2002, nearly all of the tapes submitted by CBS's As the World Turns, were fuzzy and were tinted heavily in red or green. Though most experts had expected the show to clean up, it was shut out of nearly every major award.

Last year, the reel submitted by The Young and the Restless' Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers) was missing several key scenes. Initially, some media outlets blasted the Emmy organization for botching the actress' chances of winning an Emmy. It later was revealed that it was the show itself that had left off Stafford's scenes. Still it was later implied that if NATAS had checked the tapes properly those missing scenes would have been discovered before the voting process.

The media also uses the clips in question to critique a performer's scene selection.

In an official statement, NATAS said that the media had been blocked from viewing the pre-screening reels "After [a] two year experiment, the National Television Academy was advised ... to discontinue pre-screenings for trade press, because the committees felt it offered no benefit to the process."

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