The Daytime Emmys are making news again -- and once again it's for all the wrong reasons. Weeks after a public relations debacle had two veteran actresses stripped of Emmy wins, the four remaining soaps have come together to demand that the Daytime Emmys make significant changes to its processes. If the changes are not made, all four soaps have indicated that they will not participate in the Daytime Emmys.
A letter to the Academy signed by representatives of all four shows was first obtained by Deadline.com. In the letter, the reps list many of the Emmys problem areas and then offer ways for those issues to be corrected.
"We are disheartened by the recent events involving NATAS and the 45th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards competition and the decisions made by NATAS regarding the Digital categories of Supporting Actor and Guest Star," the letter stated. "We feel the time is appropriate to bring to your attention our serious concerns about the Daytime Emmy Awards competition. The shows want a competition free of bias, perceived collusion, and personal agendas."
One of the more jaw-dropping claims is that despite assurances that the winners are known only to the accounting firm tabulating the Emmy votes, "it was clear during the April 2018 ceremony that the winners were known by many in advance."
Another area of concern, according to the letter, is who is eligible to vote in the Emmy process. "All members should be eligible to vote for outstanding show. The current process in which NATAS selects who votes is unacceptable."
The letter also cites a "conflict of interest" in that the "executive administering the competition" has also been the producer of the awards show. The signers also state that their "goal is to bring integrity back to the Daytime Emmy competition and awards show" and that they "have no confidence in the ability of the persons currently running the competition to accomplish this goal." Though the letter did not mention anyone by name, David Michaels, SVP and Executive Producer of the Daytime Emmy Awards, has been in charge of both areas for several years.
More shockingly, all four soaps are "united in [their] decision not to participate in the Daytime Emmy Awards moving forward until these important issues are resolved."
While the Daytime Emmys celebrate all that daytime television has to offer -- talk shows, children's programming, court programs, and more -- the bulk of the interest in the competition and viewership comes from the daytime drama categories. Without any involvement from the four remaining soaps, it is unclear if NATAS would be able to produce an awards show.
The letter was signed by Greg Meng, Co-Executive Producer, Days of Our Lives; John Fisher, Supervising Producer, The Young and the Restless; Steven Kent, SEVP Programming, Sony Pictures Television (which produces Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless); Frank Valentini, Executive Producer, General Hospital; Eva Basler, VP Communications, Bell-Phillip TV Prods., The Bold and the Beautiful. Kent and Basler also are Governors of the TV Academy.
For its part, NATAS released a statement to Soap Central indicating that the organization has hired independent counsel to review the Emmy voting process.
"Today I received correspondence raising concerns about some elements of the 2018 Daytime EMMY Awards and concerns over its administration," Terry O'Reilly Chairman, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said in the statement. "We have great confidence in the integrity of our EMMY awards system, and believe it effectively honors the best work being done in Daytime Television today. That having been said, we always take concerns about our systems seriously... and out of an abundance of caution I have instructed that outside counsel be retained to evaluate these concerns and conduct an independent look at them."
If NATAS is to prevent a soap-led boycott, it has only a limited amount of time to do so. The deadline to submit entries for the 2019 Daytime Emmys is in late December -- just five months away.
For complete details on the Daytime Emmy backlash, including the changes the shows are seeking, check out Deadline's original article here.
What do you think of the four soaps coming together to demand changes? Do you have suggestions about how the process could be made more fair? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.