By Dom Serafini
“New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be given the International Emmy Founders Award for effective communication and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
–Variety, Nov. 20, 2020.
“The fact that Cuomo won an International Emmy for his work on television is a bizarre and hilarious punchline on a troubling period of time.”
–Variety, August 10, 2021.
This second report was posted online at 11:10 a.m. L.A. time on August 10, just two hours after Gov. Cuomo announced his resignation over accusations of sexual misconduct.
To do a hatchet job on Cuomo’s Emmy, the editors of that venerable Hollywood trade rag called on a young Brooklyn-based reporter with an Italian-sounding name, Daniel D’Addario, its chief TV critic since 2018.
The link to D’Addario’s article was sent to me by the International Emmy’s senior communications director Eva Obadia, who herself was, apparently, if not shocked, at least surprised by the report.
The Variety link was probably sent to me because, starting in June 25, 2020, I contributed to the Emmy being awarded to Cuomo with articles about his televised daily pandemic briefings in the English, Spanish and Italian press.
My response to Obadia was short: “Kicking a person when he is down is a known sport among some publications that are afraid of doing it when the target is in a position of strength. Also, why is getting an Emmy called ‘bizarre’? It received coverage and praise worldwide — including from Variety.”
A quick search on Google about Cuomo receiving an Emmy showed over 10 million results from news media all over the world with mostly neutral or positive comments, while some negative remarks showed up after NY State began an inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations made against him.
Never in the 57-year history of the International Emmys, did the award (given to Cuomo on November 23, 2020) receive such wide coverage (as pictured above). Granted, Gov. Cuomo’s press officers have rarely endeared themselves to reporters, but for Variety to call Cuomo’s receipt of the award “bizarre” after such widespread accolades is rather bizarre in and of itself!