TV Stars Talk Judge Judy, "Diversity of Platforms and Diversity of Content" at Daytime Emmys

Judge Judy poses with the Lifetime Achievement Award -Getty-H 2019
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

“To be in someone’s home on a daily basis, it’s a privilege, a true privilege," said actress Patricia Bethune.

Scores of daytime stars marched down the red carpet en route to the 46th annual daytime Emmys at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

The awards show, hosted once again by Extra’s Mario Lopez and The Talk’s Sheryl Underwood, celebrated the work of actors, actresses, writers and more from hit daytime programs like Jeopardy, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful. The Sunday night event also honored daytime television giant Judge Judy Sheindlin with a lifetime achievement award for her self-titled show.

Though winning the golden Emmy statuette was top of mind for the daytime celebrities walking across the event’s red carpet, many of them shared their thoughts on diversity, Judge Judy’s legacy and more with The Hollywood Reporter.

Terry O’Reilly, chairman of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, said this year’s award show garnered the highest amount of entries in Daytime Emmy history. O’Reilly attributes this growth to the rise of multiple TV platforms like Netflix and Amazon, which each earned 10 daytime nods. 

“It’s diversity of content, diversity of genres, diversity of performers, diversity of performances (that) ultimately all tie together with that thread of great storytelling and great production,” O’Reilly told THR. “The reality is that the diversity of platforms allows for diversity of content and ultimately lessens the barriers for people to be able to take part in a competition like this.”

Victoria Rowell, known for her role as Kitty Barringer in The Rich & The Ruthless, said that she feels lucky enough to have been in the daytime television industry long enough to see more diversity and representation all across the board when it comes to production, from off-screen to on-screen.

Though daytime television is slowly making the move towards more inclusivity, Rowell said change “happens from the top down.”

In addition to diversity, a number of notable daytime television personalities including Dr. Mehmet Oz shared excitement for the recipient for the evening’s lifetime achievement award.

“She’s fair but she’s tough. What she really enforces in all of us is that if you elevate yourself, if you push yourself, you’ll get there,” Oz said of the Sheindlin. “That’s what Judge Judy teaches us and as our culture advances, civilization advances…(she) deserves to be honored.”

Wayne Brady, nominated for three categories including outstanding guest performer in a drama series, said that only certain people are synonymous with the medium of daytime television and Sheindlin is one of them.

His daughter Maile Masako Brady said it’s special how both she and her father know who the television judge is given that she spans all different generations. Wayne Brady said Sheindlin’s ubiquity warrants her special honor.

“When you think daytime television, you can pretty much say Judge Judy to anybody in the world and the go, ‘Oh, Judge Judy,’” he said. “That’s a gold stamp."

A number of stars said they felt the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards resembled a family reunion, where they crossed paths with familiar faces. For Patricia Bethune, who took home the outstanding guest performer in a drama series award for her work in General Hospital, the annual awards show serves to remind her the privilege that comes with acting in daytime television.

“I’ve managed to make more people happy with this one role than I think in my entire career,” she told THR. “To be in someone’s home on a daily basis, it’s a privilege, a true privilege.”

Read up on the winners from Sunday night here.