Emmy Voter: End the 'For Your Consideration' Event Gravy Train (Guest Column)

Ballot decisions "shouldn't come down to whether or not an event offers a filet mignon or champagne," writes an anonymous TV Academy member who argues for a cap on 'FYC' parties.
Dave Kotinsky/USA Network
FYC events, like this panel with 'Mr. Robot's' cast, often include lavish meals.

I barely pay for a meal in the spring. That's because members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are invited to "For Your Consideration" events — often complete with a multistation buffet and open bar — almost daily between March and June.

These are great for me, for whomever I invite to be my guest at each of these and for the TV Academy, which requires networks to pay them a lot of money to be the central clearinghouse for invitations, RSVPs and the like. But make no mistake: These are not great for the Emmys.

Why? Because members only vote for shows they've actually seen, and increasingly they only see shows from networks that invite them to a lavish event. I know this because I'm as guilty as anyone of voting predominantly for shows I've only come to know through these gatherings.

Nobody can see everything on TV — there simply aren't enough hours in the day — but TV Academy members' decisions about what to see and what not to see shouldn't come down to whether or not an event offers a filet mignon or champagne.

As long as these sorts of events continue to be offered, I, like many others, will continue to show up. But the TV Academy has the power to level the playing field by implementing a cap on spending for FYC events or something along those lines. And if they really care about celebrating the best the medium has to offer, then it is incumbent upon them to step in and do so before the next Emmy season comes around.

Sure, some members will be unhappy. But their waistlines won't.

Anonymous is an Emmy voter in the cinematographers branch.

This story first appeared in the Sept. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.