Creative Arts Emmys Suffer Technical Glitch With Confusing Winner Announcement

Four nights in, the virtual 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards had gone without a hitch, successfully juggling dozens of categories and hundreds of pre-taped speeches. But during Night 5, the main Creative Arts Emmy ceremony airing live on FXX, the announcement of the winner for Outstanding Guest Actor i=In a Drama Series was botched.

This Is Us‘ name Ron Cephas Jones appeared onscreen while the voiceover read Jason Bateman’s name; the Ozark star was nominated in the category for HBO’s The Outsider. After the snafu, the telecast cut to commercial, keeping the suspense over who won for several minutes until, after the break, a message apologizing for the error appeared and the graphic with Jones’ name was shown again, this time without a voice over. This was Jones’ second Emmy win for his role as William Hill.

Given the complexity of pulling off Emmy Awards with over 100 categories in a pandemic when everything is done remotely under strict COVID-19 protocols, glitches are understandable. Today’s mishap comes on the eve of the primary Primetime Emmys telecast on ABC Sunday, which will add a whole new level of difficulty with 130 remote cameras being hooked up to go live.

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