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The COVID-19 pandemic was a running theme during night one of the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, as a number of attendees referenced ongoing protocols and vaccine requirements.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Alex Borstein joked while presenting an award, “There is no food. There is no touching. So, basically, it’s OnlyFans.” She added, “Now we can sit across from each other and make fun of our networks executives. Thank you scientists.”
Due to concerns around the Delta variant, the 2021 Creative Arts Emmys took place with a limited audience inside a tent on the event deck of L.A. Live. The Television Academy required attendees to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test within the last 48 hours. The microphones were wiped in between being used by each presenter.
Producer of the Creative Arts Emmys, Bob Bain, said on stage, “Can’t tell you how happy I am we have nominees in the same room.” He informed the guests, who were required to wear masks, that they were allowed to remove them during the entirety of the show.
Unlike previous years where a presenter would hand the Emmy statues to the recipients, due to COVID-19 protocols the trophies were placed on a podium next to the mic for the winners to grab.
Presenters stood on a raised stage in the back while winners collected their Emmy from a lowered stage in front to ensure everyone was using different mics and were socially distanced.
A member of Saturday Night Live‘s hairstyling team thanked NBC for testing requirements after winning outstanding contemporary hairstyling for a variety, nonfiction, or reality program. “I have no nose, but they kept us safe.” The team added that it was “one of the hardest seasons” to work on due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Grace and Frankie actress June Diane Raphael, who also presented, said having a live audience felt like “being shot out of a canon.” She added, “There’s just that connection to the audience that zoom and all of the platforms, as lifesaving as they are, haven’t been able to capture.”
Last year, the nominees appeared virtually for their acceptance speeches. While some winners this year appeared in person, others like a make-up artist for The Queen’s Gambit accepted via video. Reno 911! actor Thomas Lennon virtually presented an award.
The Creative Arts Emmys will continue Sunday in two additional ceremonies.
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