Nathan Fielder Details How to Hack Emmy Voting in FYC Pitch

Nathan Fielder - Publicity - H 2018
Peter Yang/Comedy Central

Are the 2018 Emmys primed for election interference? That's what Nathan Fielder slyly posits in his tongue-in-cheek FYC pitch — one that details, step by step, how to hack the TV Academy's electronic ballot box.

"I started researching how secure the Emmys’ online voting is, which is operated by Ernst & Young," says the Nathan for You star in the 13-minute clip. "What I discovered was shocking, to say the least, and really shocking, to say the most."

The TV Academy responded to Fielder's stunt in a statement: "The Television Academy has seen Mr. Fielder’s video parody. Phishing scams like the one described by Mr. Fielder’s security expert are a concern for anyone with an online account, no matter the site, from banking to retail to social media. As is common practice for those looking to protect their online accounts, we strongly recommend our members confirm they are on the official Television Academy voting site before entering any of their account information. We are quite confident in the security of our site and are continuously monitoring for any phishing activities like those described.”

Comedy Central's Nathan for You follows Fielder, playing a version of himself, offering outlandish strategies to help struggling companies and individuals get on the right track. Here, he employs an expert to see how someone might theoretically tamper with the votes — because, in his words, he "has a pretty good chance of getting a nomination and likely a win,” and he doesn’t want to see any funny business.

It's certainly one way to try and cut through the clutter during Emmy voting, though it will be interesting to see how the move is received by his peer group. The ease with which election-security expert Carsten Schurmann describes the hacking process will likely rattle some.

Fielder's category, outstanding variety sketch series, is a particularly crowded one. That's Saturday Night Live's marquee race — one that also frequently includes Portlandia and Comedy Central neighbor Drunk History.

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to a TV Academy rep for comment on the video.