Submission error causes soap actress to lose Emmy win.
Soaps.com has learned that soap opera actress Patrika Darbo’s 45th Annual Daytime Emmy has been revoked by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). Variety is reporting exclusively that a submission error was discovered during an investigation that led to the decision. Darbo was awarded the win for her role as The Bay’s Mickey Walker in the Guest Performer in a Digital Drama Series category.
The submission, entered by the producers of the digital drama, contained two violations with her reel containing scenes from more than one episode, which is against the rules. The actress told Variety that she first learned about the issue from The Bay executive producer Gregori Martin followed by NATAS’ senior vice president David Michaels and stated, “Of course, I felt badly about it. David said he was ready to jump off a bridge.” Gregori Martin told Variety he takes “responsibility for not seeing the note above the submission details.” Given that other digital acting categories allowed for material for more than one episode, other web series producers believed that to be the case with the guest category as well.
NATAS’ senior vice president David Michaels admitted, “Early on, I owned this mistake. I had spent most of the day vetting supporting categories, then I switched over to [guest]. My big mistake was not noticing some of the entries weren’t following the one-episode rule.”
Though Anacostia’s Jennifer Bassey was the next performer with the most votes and learned she would be receiving the award in place of Darbo, her win was also revoked for the same multi-episode submission. Of Bassey’s response, Anacostia’s creator Anthony Anderson shared, “She broke down. It was unbearable to listen to. Since then, we’ve talked and we’re in agreement that we don’t want to rock the boat.” Bassey responded, “I am shocked and truly disappointed that [NATAS] has handled their errors this way. I hope that no other actors have to share this experience ever again.”
Next year there are plans to remove ‘episodes’ from the rulebook and allow submissions from numerous episodes with a max amount of time. There will also be a box that needs to be checked to confirm a character’s first air date with a series. Michaels explained as a “make good” anyone who enters in the Guest Performer in a Digital Drama Series category will be given a complimentary entry.
Darbo holds a seat on the board of governors for the Television Academy, which represents the Performers Peer Group, and stated, “If you’re taking away mine, you have to take [other perceived violators’] because you have a cloud over you. It’s a sad thing that I’m going to lose my Emmy because of a paperwork error, but if we let little things like that go through we are negating the Emmy brand and that cannot happen.” Anthony Anderson added, “The sad part of all of this is Patrika, Jennifer, and three other very deserving people who are all very talented were robbed of potentially winning an Emmy. I support NATAS’ decision because at the end of the day Anacostia has been around for nine years, five seasons, and 50 episodes. I know my show’s value, and it doesn’t come from an award.”
With over 100 credits to her resume, Darbo recently played the role of Shirley Spectra on The Bold and the Beautiful and has appeared as Nancy Wesley on Days of our Lives on and off since 1999.