Three days into the first round of Primetime Emmy voting, the TV Academy has disqualified several members — all in the performers branch comprised by actors — for engaging in “block voting,” a pattern where a group of people have an agreement to cast their vote for the same person.
“The Television Academy has disqualified a few members who were engaged in the early stages of a block voting strategy for the first round of Emmy voting,” Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma said in a statement Wednesday: “This is a direct violation of our rules of competition and our member code of conduct. This type of activity will not be tolerated. The Emmy stands for excellence and the integrity of this award is of paramount importance to the television industry.”
The TV Academy would not comment on the number of members who have been disqualified, their identities, when the alleged violation occurred and how it was discovered, but Scherma added:
“We will continue to be diligent in our efforts to ensure the fairness of this competition. In addition to our own rigorous safeguards, our independent auditors at EY monitor Emmy voting for potential improprieties.”
In an email to members of TV Academy’s Performers Peer group, sent earlier on Wednesday, Scherma and Maury McIntyre, the Academy’s President & COO, informed them of the disqualification, providing more detail on what measures are being been taken against the alleged perpetrators.
“The Television Academy has therefore disqualified these members from the 2019 Emmy Awards competition, invalidating both their ballot entries and any votes they may have cast. In addition, their conduct may be referred to the Conduct Review Committee for further disciplinary action.”
The email, first published by THR, also cites an April 3, 2019 email to the same Performers Peer Group, which warned them of the consequences if they violate voting rules.
“Any implicit or explicit suggestion of quid pro quo and/or block voting for the Emmy competition constitutes a breach of the 2018-2019 Emmy Awards Rules & Procedures and also may be a violation of the Academy’s Code of Conduct. As such, this activity may be grounds for a member to be disqualified from participation.”
The preliminary round of Emmy voting is underway now through June 24.