UPDATE: Possibly due to the backlash, the producers seemed to start somewhat relax the strict 45-second limit as the show went on. For instance, comedy great Bob Newhart was not interrupted when accepting his first Emmy. But the worst offenders have been the presenters. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried went on and on for 7-8 minutes before introducing the variety categories.
PREVIOUS: “You have 45 seconds to get from your seat all the way down the aisle, up the steps, and do your acceptance speech,” Creative Arts Emmys producer Spike Jones Jr sternly warned just before the beginning of today’s ceremony. “I’m not kidding.” He indeed was not, and the strictly enforced acceptance time limit rubbed many attendees the wrong way as winner after winner had to make a dash for the the stage for a 10-second out-of-breath speech before they were cut off. One multiple Emmy winner spoke with Deadline’s Ray Richmond backstage, expressing his disgust at the way the ceremony was being run, with its frenetic pacing that forces the winners to rush onstage, rush their speeches, and rush off as if on fast-forward and double-parked. “It’s disrespectful and it’s offensive to the professionals in this room to treat them like cattle,” he said. “You’ve got women in gowns literally sprinting down the aisle after winning.” Indeed, one winner with a low-cut top was seen nearly coming out of it. Another winner had to remove her shoes to get to the stage in time. Numerous winners were drowned out by music after speaking for a few seconds, and several others had their mics cut altogether. Adding insult to injury was the producers’ decision to allot the mean-spirted Triumph the Insult Comic Dog an estimated 6 minutes for wisecracks and presentation while some winners were not even allowed to finish a sentence. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” the producer said. “You can’t find an extra minute for someone who wants to thank people after a huge moment? I believe they need to rethink the whole way this thing works. As it is, it’s a little bit ridiculous.”