Coronavirus pandemic forces Emmy Awards ceremony to go online

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A day after announcing nominations for the Emmy Awards, the Television Academy on Wednesday informed top nominees that the ceremony in September will be held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The announcement was expected given the restrictions and lockdowns imposed since the virus outbreak which has wreaked havoc in the entertainment industry.

The Emmys – television’s equivalent of the Oscars – will take place on September 20 and will be the first major awards show in Hollywood since the coronavirus crisis began.

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the festivities broadcast on ABC.

In the letter sent to select nominees and the contents of which were confirmed to AFP by an Academy spokesman, organizers said they were forced to make the tough decision to hold the ceremony online given the circumstances.

“Aside from NOT being able to come together in one place, we also acknowledge that our world is going through a challenging moment in many ways,” according to the letter signed by the producers of the event and Kimmel.

“We’ll be producing an event that is filled with warmth and humanity, which celebrates the power of television to bring us together and to help us shape our world,” they wrote.

The letter said that organizers would work closely with the nominees, filming them at home and other locations, to ensure they stand out on the big night.

“We’re going to make you look fabulous – we’re exploring the cutting edge of technology to allow us to use good cameras and lighting and look forward to working with you to produce your unique ‘on screen’ moments,” the letter added.

As to the dress code, the letter said given the informal theme of the ceremony, nominees could decide what to wear.

“If you want to be in formal wear, we’d love that, but equally if you’re in the UK and it’s 3 a.m., perhaps you want to be in designer pajamas and record from your bed!,” the letter said.

“We want to work with you to style your moments, but want you to guide us on your levels of comfort – where you want to be, who you want to be with, what you want to wear, etc.”

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