Producers of the 2021 Emmy Awards said they were taken aback by Seth Rogen’s criticism of what he saw as the ceremony’s lack of COVID-19 protocols, calling the actor’s comments “an unfortunate misdirection.”
Stepping on stage to present the evening’s top prize, Rogen appeared to step out of the script, mocking the “tightly closed tent” the show was held in and accusing the creative team of being dishonest about the measurements. that had been taken to ensure the safety of customers.
“Let me start by saying that there are way too many of us in this little room,” the “Pineapple Express” and “Knocked Up” actor said. “What are we doing? They said it was outside. It’s not! They lied to us.
While it is not clear whether Rogen wanted his remarks taken literally, the speech become one of the most of the night buzzing moments even after host Cedric the Entertainer highlighted COVID-19 protocols in a follow-up speech. In a Variety interview released Tuesday, producers Reginald Hudlin and Ian Stewart responded to many of Rogen’s observations, noting that the actor was fully aware of the logistics during rehearsals.
“We have worked for months and months to make it a safe space,” said Stewart. “We worked with all the health authorities. We were approved by LA County, we worked out a plan with them. These tables were far away. Everyone has been vaccinated. Everyone has tested negative in this audience.
Watch Seth Rogen’s Emmy comments on COVID-19 below.
“And also he had rehearsed,” he added. “So he knew exactly what it was. So, I just felt it was an unfortunate mistake on his part. Because it wasn’t just our decision. It is also the decision of the health authorities, to say that it is a completely safe environment if you do all of these things. “
Hudlin went further, stating that Rogen’s jabs “have been three months of really hard work and a lot, a lot of talking about getting it right feels a bit wasted, really.”
“We work in this industry, we are desperately aware of COVID,” he said. “I’ve done almost 50 productions in COVID and no one gets sick. So, it is deeply frustrating.
Representatives for Rogen did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
The 2021 Emmy Awards were very different from last year’s ceremony, most of which took place virtually, but were still a far cry from the glitz of pre-pandemic Hollywood. This year, the event was held at the LA Live Event Deck in Los Angeles instead of the Microsoft Theater, which can accommodate up to 7,000 guests.
Due to international travel restrictions, a satellite viewing party was held at Soho House in London and brought together nominees like Gillian Anderson and Olivia Colman.
Despite their feud with Rogen, Hudlin and Stewart were both happy with how the ceremony went amid the pandemic.
“There was a feeling in this room that the industry supported the industry, and people were really happy for each other when they won,” said Stewart. “The people who attended were as happy to put on a fancy dress and a fancy suit as anyone. They had fun in there, which is a beautiful thing.
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