The Emmy Awards were on Sunday night, and like all awards shows these days, the ceremony was marred by awkwardness and controversy throughout, from Seth Rogen’s opening-minute lambasting of the COVID protocols to The Queen’s Gambit creator Scott Frank’s legitimately cringe-worthy acceptance speech for Outstanding Limited Series Directing, which clocked in at over three minutes, the longest speech of the night by some distance.
Two of the producers of the Emmy’s, Ian Stewart and Reginald Hudlin, spoke to Variety in the days since to tell their side of the story, both slamming Rogen for going rogue despite showing up at rehearsal earlier that day and not raising the issue then, and Scott Frank for his “incredibly disrespectful” shushing of the play-off music.
“It’s a simple equation. These people are professionals. They understand what’s going on, it’s their industry. It’s not a sports awards. So they know what they are doing and the simple fact is, they know there’s only a finite amount of time,” Stewart said.
“I’d love them to be able to speak for half an hour if they wanted to. But we don’t have that time. So it’s a simple equation. If you think that you have to speak for four or five minutes, that means somebody else can’t. It’s just incredibly disrespectful to your fellow nominees.”
Perhaps worse than taking away time from other speakers, though, was just the general vibe of Scott’s demeanor, as the longtime screenwriter clearly fancies himself as someone far more important than he actually is. If you’re, I don’t know, Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino, sure, take all the time you need — but in the case of Scott Frank, a man the general entertainment audience had never heard of despite being in the business for decades, all you should be doing is thanking your cast, crew, family, and God before getting the hell off the stage. Luckily, when The Queen’s Gambit won Best Limited Series to close out the night, Frank did not speak. The award should’ve gone to Mare of Easttown, anyway.