It looks like the four remaining daytime soap operas are sick and tired of being sick and tired where the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in concerned. According to Deadline, the top brass at The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives and General Hospital came together this week to issue an ultimatum to NATAS in the form of a joint letter demanding sweeping changes to voting and accounting practices
The catalyst for this rebuke was NATAS rescinding Patrika Darbo's Outstanding Guest Star in a Digital Drama Series win for her work on The Bay, after it was revealed the award should have gone to Anacostia actress Jennifer Bassey. Neither actress ended up with the golden lady.
Deadline published this snippet from the letter:
“We are disheartened by the recent events involving NATAS and the 45th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards competition and the decisions made by NATAS regarding the Digital categories of Supporting Actor and Guest Star,” reps for the four soaps wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Deadline. “We feel the time is appropriate to bring to your attention our serious concerns about the Daytime Emmy Awards competition.” The four shows went on to say they “are united in their decision not to participate in the Daytime Emmy Awards moving forward until these important issues are resolved.”
Below are some of the changes the soaps are demanding:
• Voting should be limited to members of NATAS or the Television Academy.
• All members should be eligible to vote for outstanding show. The current process in which NATAS selects who votes is unacceptable.
• All qualified members in a given category should be eligible to vote in that category.
• We are concerned about conflict of interest in the voter pools. We require complete transparency of the voting process.
2. Accountancy Firm:
• NATAS must stop instructing the accounting firm to disqualify certain ballots because of NATAS perception of block voting or other issues that NATAS arbitrarily deems a reason to disqualify.
• A written procedure must be put in place for questioning and if necessary disqualify a ballot.
• An independent body needs to deal with all process issues and or discrepancies.
• NATAS must have an arm’s length relationship with the accountants.
• An outside, neutral third party must be hired to audit the voting process across all categories for the 2017/2018 awards and those results must be made available to us and to the TV Academy.
3. Winners Known in Advance:
• We were promised by NATAS senior management that the winners would only be known to the accountants prior to being announced on stage. This has not been the practice.
• Despite their assurance, it was clear during the April 2018 ceremony that the winners were known by many in advance. This is unacceptable.
4. Competition vs. Awards Show:
• We feel that it is a conflict of interest for the executive(s) administering the competition in any way, shape or form to also produce the awards show. The executive in charge of the competition is responsible for the integrity of the competition and the awards. We feel that this conflict contributed to recent transgressions regarding the Digital Guest and Supporting performer categories.
• NATAS must hire a team, separate from the competition executive(s), to produce and executive produce the actual awards show.
• The rules need to be more detailed and include the procedure and process for all aspects of the competition. The concerns listed above are very serious to us. Our goal is to bring integrity back to the Daytime Emmy competition and awards show. We have no confidence in the ability of the persons currently running the competition to accomplish this goal.
The joint letter was signed by DAYS' co-executive producer Greg Meng, B&B's head of communications Eva Basler, Sony's daytime boss Steve Kent, Y&R supervising producer John Fisher and GH boss Frank Valentini. Basler and Kent are TV Academy governors.