A top producer for the Emmys said it was "deeply frustrating" to listen to Seth Rogen's comments at the annual awards show suggesting it was not safe to hold the event in person this year.
"We’ve worked with all the health authorities. We were signed off by LA County, we came up with a plan with them. Those tables were distanced. Everyone was vaccinated. Everyone was negative tested in that audience. And also he had rehearsed," Stewart said. "So he knew exactly what it was. So, I just felt it was an unfortunate misdirect from him. Because it wasn’t just our decision. This is the health authorities’ decision as well, to say that it’s a completely safe environment if you do all those things.”
During his speech at the show on Sunday evening, Rogen called out what he said were inadequate COVID-19 precautions taken by event organizers in Los Angeles.
"Good to be here at the Emmy Awards," Rogen said. "Let me start by saying there is way too many of us in this little room. What are we doing? They said this was outdoors. It’s not. They lied to us. We’re in a hermetically sealed tent right now. I would not have come to this."
Rogen's remarks were off script for the show and left producers scrambling to “play catch up," Stewart explained.
“We work in this industry, we’re desperately aware of COVID. I’ve done 50 productions nearly in COVID and not have people get sick," Stewart said. "So, it’s deeply frustrating."
Rogen's remarks prompted the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to issue a statement two days later saying the event was compliant with local COVID-19 mandates, still some of the most restrictive in the country.
“LA County’s Health Officer order requires everyone to wear a mask indoors, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. However, exceptions are made for film, television, and music productions, as additional safety modifications are made for these controlled interactions,” the department said.
"The Emmy Award Show is a television production, and persons appearing on the show are considered performers. All persons appearing on or in the audience of the Emmy Award Show were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Also, Public Health was informed that each of these persons had a verified negative PCR test 48 hours prior to the show."