- Two producers of the Emmys slammed Seth Rogen’s unscripted COVID-19 jokes.
- During the broadcast, Rogen joked that there were not enough precautions in place.
- Ian Stewart, one of the producers, said Rogen’s jokes were an “unfortunate misdirect.”
Ian Stewart and Reginald Hudlin, two producers of the Emmys telecast, are “still fuming” over Seth Rogen’s decision to insert an unplanned segment during Sunday’s ceremony in which he mocked the show’s COVID-19 protocols.
Rogen didn’t hold back when he came out on stage to present an award during the show. He promptly criticized the organization of the evening and slammed what he perceived to be a lack of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Good to be here at the Emmy Awards,” Rogen began. “Let me start by saying: There’s way too many of us in this little room.”
He added: “What are we doing? They said this was outdoors — it’s not! They lied to us!”
Stewart and Hudlin confirmed to Variety that Rogen’s jokes were not scripted, and the pair said they were surprised by Rogen’s decision to include the digs as he had attended rehearsals for the show earlier in the day during which he was informed of all the COVID-19 precautions.
“We have worked for months and months to make that a safe space,” Stewart said. “We’ve worked with all the health authorities. We were signed off by LA County, we came up with a plan with them. Those tables were distanced. Everyone was vaccinated. Everyone was negative tested in that audience. And also he had rehearsed. So he knew exactly what it was.”
Stewart later described Rogen’s jokes as an “unfortunate misdirect.”
Seth Rogen presented Hannah Waddingham her Emmy for supporting actress in a comedy series.
Variety reported that as a result of Rogen’s jokes, the show’s producers scripted last-minute monologues for the show’s host, Cedric the Entertainer and DJ, Reggie Watts, which reiterated the show’s COVID-19 protocols.
“It made three months of very hard work and many, many discussions to get it absolutely right feel a little bit wasted, really,” Stewart added. “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.”
Stewart also touched on “The Queen’s Gambit” creator Scott Frank’s lengthy acceptance speech, which has been widely mocked. During the broadcast, Frank picked up the award for Outstanding Directing For A Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie and ignored several music drops to conclude his acceptance speech.
“I don’t want to go through that again,” Stewart said of Frank’s speech. “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.”
Stewart added: “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.”
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