Are the Emmy's Relevant Anymore?

Are the Emmy's Relevant Anymore?

Every year there is a big spectacle of which TV shows are the best of the best. This is called the Emmy's. But are these awards relevant anymore?

Every year there’s a big display of awards and speeches for television. It’s called the Emmy’s. This year, so as not to compete with football, the broadcast was shifted to Monday night. The goal here was to make sure those who also wanted to watch football would not have to make a choice between the two. Hopefully, the numbers would go up this year. They didn’t. Viewership for the annual spectacle was about the same as it had been for the last two years at 11.4 million. And that’s lower than five years ago. I’ll admit, I wasn’t one of those 11.4 million. But I did read about it in the news afterward. And that reading was interesting for two reasons.


Back in July, HBO received only 108 nominations while Netflix garnered 112. This seemed to signal a significant shift in the TV industry. For one, Netflix has been throwing barrels of money into their content production and it seemed to have paid off. Second, it made the long-running Emmy champion, HBO, look like it was past its prime, no pun intended. Yet, when the awards were finally presented, HBO and Netflix walked away with the same amount. So what does this mean? It could mean that HBO isn’t quite out of the game. Or it could mean that there’s still the “old guard” hanging on and they’re not about to let the upstart Netflix steal their money-making machine. Or it could mean that Netflix just hasn’t built up enough cred yet. Who knows. But back in July, this writer was ready to concede that HBO was no longer going to be the reigning king of television. It appears I was wrong. That stings a little bit. It doesn’t matter if you’re an HBO fan, a Netflix fan, a fan of some other streaming service, make sure you have the best internet bundles and deals. This way you at least save some money. Then you’ll get a front row seat for what’s coming next.

Are the Emmy’s Relevant Anymore?

While I noticed the tie between HBO and Netflix, a piece from The Verge caught my eye- “Hollywood had a Breakdown Trying to Justify Itself at the 2018 Emmy’s.” The author, Devon Maloney, argues that the Emmy celebration was an indication of how behind Hollywood is. They don’t seem to be moving forward or embracing any of the changes happening in society at large. Nor does it seem that the winners of this year’s awards are any more diverse than the previous years. Overall, Maloney argues that Hollywood is irrelevant. Maloney’s arguments are indeed valid.

Lack of Change

Recent reports have pointed out that although there has been more of a push for diverse actors and stories, this hasn’t translated to much change across the industry. If any at all. The Emmy Broadcast, from her point of view, appeared stunted and forced. Since I didn’t watch it myself, I’ll have to take her word for it. And given she’s been covering the subject much longer than I have, I’m happy to do so. But there’s one point I’ll have to disagree with. Hollywood may be irrelevant, but it’s so entrenched that we cannot simply remove it. As with any system that’s been allowed to build up over time, Hollywood has solidified itself in the socio-political environment. Think of it as a tree-stump; the branches and trunk can be removed, but the roots are still there. Removing the stump itself is the hardest part. Without expert help, you’ll more than likely make a bigger mess than what’s necessary.

The Right Skills for the Job

For example; back in college I helped a friend clean out his grandparent’s house and make it ready for sale. To do this, we needed to remove a large, and very dead, tree from the front yard. Of course, this was a task given to a bunch of college sophomores who grew up in the city. But three of those present had trucks. The common thought we all had was, “Hey, it's a truck, it’s strong. We just hook up a chain and pull and the stump should go pretty easily, right?” Luckily no trucks, or people, were hurt in the course of extracting the stump. But there was quite a mess when we were done. One college student tried and the stump didn’t budge. Another “wiser” student tried, and again, the stump remained unmoved. Although dead and irrelevant to the yard, and the house, the roots ran deep and refused to pack up and leave. After the third truck failed to move the stump, we pulled out the shovels and the axes and tried to cut every root that we could find. When we were done there was a huge hole with the stump in the middle. A lot of the roots jutted out from the ground, catching everyone’s feet as they tried to pass. But the stump was out.

What Are the Right Skills?

According to Maloney, Hollywood is irrelevant. Whether it should be removed or not, she’s yet to stand on that. But it’s clear that change must happen. Unfortunately, it’s an old tree that’s created roots in more than one layer of the environment. It’s not entirely dead though. I would argue that some parts need to go, but on the whole, the system still has some usefulness. It just needs the right watering and nutrition. But what? From my vantage point in San Antonio, TX, I have a few opinions on how to do that. I’m sure there are others, spread out all over the country, who have opinions as well. And as arrogant as I can be, I have to humbly accept that my opinions aren’t always right. So who’s to say which ones are the right ones? And which are the ones we should follow? There’s also the minor detail that those running Hollywood will not willingly give up the power, money, and comfort they’ve long been enjoying. So what’s the right way to change Hollywood? And if so, who’s going to lead that movement?