EXCLUSIVE: Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards are scaled down in more ways than one, especially when it comes to conspicuous security.
“We’ll be just as present and on-site as always, but much less visible than usual,” a law enforcement official told Deadline Sunday of the LAPD and other agencies’ apparent roles at the downtown Los Angeles event at L.A. Live. “Measures in place to safeguard against the coronavirus, the protocols required for everyone at the ceremony and a generally smaller crowd have supplemented procedures that are often on the street.”
Another law enforcement officer tells us that protection at the Emmys this year is best summed up as “status-quo and behind the scenes.” They also said that with the Covid checkpoints in place, there’s already a pretty streamlined process in place for those Emmy attendees entering the building.
Correspondingly, while the area surrounding the Staples Center is cordoned off, you may not see the SWAT and K-9 bomb trucks in plain sight like in previous years. They’ll be parked on a side street, ready in case there’s any problems near the ceremony being held at The Event Deck at L.A. Live.
Two years ago, the last time the Emmys were in person, there was concern over President Donald Trump’s instigation of radical red wingers, i.e., he declared at the time that “Hollywood is Racist.” However, after an anti-climactic U.S. Capitol protest yesterday in which police outnumbered those present, the threat level tonight at the Primetime Emmys is significantly less.
“Look, it’s downtown L.A., there’s protests every day there,” says Kent Moyer, CEO and president of World Protection Group. But in the Covid era, “there’s a 300% chance of a medical emergency [tonight] than a physical attack on a person, which is an important element of planning.”
“When President Joe Biden came to Long Beach, we did intel on how many protests there would be and it was estimated to be around 1,000. There’s not going to be that type of turnout at the Emmys, possibly 25, 50 or 100. But I don’t see anything that is really controversial this year with a TV show or the Emmys,” Moyer says.
Lacking a seat-packed theater this year, the Cedric the Entertainer-hosted CBS broadcast ceremony is being held under a tent at the L.A. Live complex, much like the Trevor Noah-fronted Grammys in March. That approach will see most of the nominees in attendance seated a tables more suited to a dinner than TV’s biggest night.
Subsequently, a number of presenters who aren’t nominees intend to arrive long before their slot and exit soon after walking offstage, we hear. “That tactic keeps things fluid and fast moving, which is optimal from a security perspective,” the well-placde law enforcement official said of the revolving door of presenters. “Because your hot zone, so to speak, remains relatively constrained.”
The LAPD did not respond to requests from Deadline for an official comment on its security plans for tonight’s Emmys, which are being executive produced by Ian Stewart and Reginald Hudlin. We will update this story if and when they do.
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