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Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Primetime Emmy Nominations Postponed Due to Strikes

Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge
Screenwriters and actors strike in protest of writers’ wages. Photo: Getty Images.

The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards arrive at an awkward time. While it has been a year of thrilling artistic achievements in the domain of television, news of nominations and predictions from fans come amid the tumult of labor strikes in Hollywood.

With “Succession” garnering 27 nominations and other fan-favorites such as “The White Lotus,” “The Last of Us” and “House of the Dragon” also gaining widespread acclaim, HBO has established itself as a powerhouse and the “network to beat,” according to Rachel Sherman of The New York Times.

I feel like we are watching two circles in a Venn diagram drift apart: The people who care about TV and the people who make money off TV.

— Margaret Lyons

A glance at the six nominees for Best Actor in a Drama calls only one question to mind, and that is whether being “the eldest boy” — à la Kendall Roy of “Succession” — is enough to claim the crown. The category could conceivably be cut down to a sibling joust between Kendall and his brother Roman, portrayed respectively by Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin. Moreover, Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy is a strong contender for Best Actress in a Drama, just as her on-set husband Matthew Macfadyen is in the Best Supporting Actor category.

In fact, the fourth and final season of “Succession” stays firmly in the running in most of its nominated areas. The hit show occupies half of the Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series category, which includes an episode shot entirely in one take. “It was us doing like a one-act play on a boat… it was unlike anything I’d ever done before and it was extremely exciting,” said Culkin in an “Inside the Episode” segment for the episode “Connor’s Wedding.”

Critics highlighted their personal frustrations with under and overrepresented shows. The New York Times television critic Margaret Lyons and The Hollywood Reporter’s chief television critic, Daniel Fienberg, both mentioned that FX’s “Atlanta,” a voted fan favorite, did not receive the nod it deserved from the Television Academy. Overall, though, The New York Times’ James Poniewozik said, “I didn’t see a lot of big shockers among the major nominees.”

This year, critics also emphasized that the line between Drama and Comedy continues to blur. The two terms currently draw a watertight line at the Emmys, with individual shows able to self-categorize under one or the other. However, Fienberg makes the case that television shows today often dabble in both categories. 

“I’m happy to see two of my favorite comedies of the past year, Succession and The White Lotus, dominating the nominations. On the drama side,” said Fienberg. 

“Every Emmys these days is a pretty good argument against separate comedy and drama categories,” said Poniewozik.

Netflix and A24’s “Beef,” with 13 nods including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, is another successful show that walks that line between drama and comedy. 

“The show had a lot of humor while still being able to touch on some serious themes,” said senior Vivian Wang. 

Wang added that the show’s incorporation of dramatic and comedic qualities reminds her of Oscars Best Picture winner “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” another piece created by the cult-bearing, eclectic independent studio A24.

The awards show was originally scheduled for Sept. 18, but — given that it highlights achievement in the field of prime time television — it faces delays due to the ongoing labor strikes in the entertainment industry. As the result of a joint labor action of actors under the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and screenwriters under the Writers Guild of America (WGA), 170,000 Hollywood workers have brought the multibillion-dollar television and film industry to a standstill.

Concerns from workers arise over unfair wages. “I feel like we are watching two circles in a Venn diagram drift apart: The people who care about TV and the people who make money off TV,” said Lyons.

Also present is frustration over policy regarding residual earnings from streaming services and the potential of artificial intelligence to eliminate the jobs of many current writers. 

“If the steps necessary to regulate AI aren’t taken now, AI will continue to have detrimental effects on people’s jobs and livelihoods as it gets more advanced,” said senior Nnamdi Nwosu.

Television and film production at all stages in Hollywood has been halted as writers and actors demonstrate for increased pay. As outlined by the two unions, taking part in promotional work such as press junkets, film premieres and events will be perceived as crossing the picket line. Unionized actors and writers will not be allowed to attend the Emmys during the strike. 

Former WGA East president and past Emmy nominee Beau Willimon acknowledged a symbolic layer to the fight in Hollywood: “while it’s wonderful to celebrate the value of writers, 11,000 of us are currently on strike to protect the value of every writer on every show and winning that struggle is the most important prize of all.”

For 160,000 SAG-AFTRA actors, many are “just trying to make rent,” according to union member Parvesh Cheena. Well-established actors have made an effort to demonstrate their commitment to the cause. Studios “are fighting us tooth and nail to stick to the same economic system that is outmoded, outdated,” said “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston during a walkout. 

In light of the struggles, Saturday Night Live alumna Kristen Wiig spoke of the community’s resilience: “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re standing strong.”

A new date has not yet been set for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards show.

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Erica Lu '24
Erica Lu '24, Editor-in-Chief
Erica Lu is currently Editor-in-Chief of Horizon. She served as a Features Editor in the 2022-2023 school year. Prior to that, she worked as a Staff Writer for the newspaper.
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