After Patrika Darbo’s Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Digital Daytime Drama series was revoked following the 2018 ceremony, the actress called for an outside audit of the Daytime Emmys. With many actors raising concerns about Emmy policies and procedures and all four soaps threatening to boycott the 2019 ceremony unless changes were made, an independent review was commissioned. The law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth of Washington D.C. was hired to conduct the investigation, and based off their independent findings, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will be instituting some changes in the way the Daytime Emmys proceeds going forward. “The report found a number of things that we should have done better and must do better moving forward,” explained NATAS president Adam Sharp.
Rules will be clarified to explain exactly what constitutes an episode, something that has come into question with the emergence of digital series. “The report rightfully recognized that we need to go through every word and every comma of our guidelines to make sure that these are absolutely crystal clear and that they are rules that judges can reasonably administer,” Sharp said.
With digital drama categories now part of the Daytime Emmys, there has been tremendous growth in both entries as well as the audience for the ceremony, so additional staff will be hired for the team. Core policies and procedures will be better articulated and made public. Following the competition, a Transparency Report will provide a summary of how the rules were employed and enforced. NATAS will also be working more closely with the Television Academy during the entire process.
Sharp hopes that the changes being implemented to the Daytime Emmy procedures will satisfy everyone and the four soaps will not boycott next year’s ceremony. “We’ve had some productive conversations with the soap producers,” he revealed. “Some of the signatories of that letter were interviewed by the investigators. So we are looking forward to having them in the show for May.”
These changes will also be applied to more than just the Daytime Emmys. “We intend to implement these actions everywhere they are relevant in our organization,” Sharp promised. “That includes the sports Emmys, the news and technology Emmys, the documentary Emmys. It doesn’t matter what Emmy it is, it’s still the same statue. It’s still the same mark of excellence.”
For more from Sharp about the investigation and for additional Daytime Emmy news, keep reading Soaps In Depth magazine.