National Geographic has canceled plans to hold an two-day Emmy showcase this weekend at the Westfield Century City mall, as concern grows over an uptick in COVID-19 infections and a rise in Delta variant cases.
The event included close discussions between nominees (including “Genius: Aretha” star Cynthia Erivo) and voters, which began to feel inappropriate given the fact that the state of COVID-19 seems to be going in the wrong direction. Nat Geo said it will continue with the virtual elements of its Emmy Phase Two FYC campaigns, and is still looking at other alternatives.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are canceling our Nat Geo Emmy Showcase event that was scheduled for this Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15 at Century City Mall,” the network said in a statement. “While we are disappointed to have to cancel for this weekend, we hope to schedule a future event where we can celebrate our Emmy nominees. Thank you for understanding.”
In contrast to just a few weeks ago, when things seemed to be moving in the right direction thanks to vaccinations and the country (including Los Angeles) appeared to be opening back up, things have taken a sharp backward slide in recent days.
On Tuesday, the Television Academy announced that next month’s Emmy ceremonies, both Primetime and Creative Arts, will be held on the Event Deck at L.A. Live, next to the Microsoft Theater — marking the second year in a row that the Emmys were not actually held inside the Microsoft.
The org also limited the number of nominees attending the ceremonies (to a max of four per nominated production teams), “following discussions with health and safety experts for Los Angeles County and the Emmy ceremonies.”
Also, Bravo just announced that its Bravocon event will be pushed to 2022. The African American Film Critics Assn.’s TV Honors has been switched to a virtual event. And the Hollywood Critics Assn. has announced its first-ever HCA TV Awards will now take place in the outdoor space at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 22, 2021, offering free rapid COVID testing on the premises and requiring vaccinations.
As originally planned, Nat Geo’s Emmy showcase event was to include Q&As with nominees including Cynthia Erivo (“Genius: Aretha”), Steve James (“City So Real”), Sue Aiken (“Life Below Zero”), Ricko DeWilde (“Life Below Zero”), cinematographers, sound mixers, showrunners choreographers and more. The pop-up was also to include a rock climing wall (for “Running Wild with Bear Grylls”), an arctic facial station (“Life Below Zero”), “Genius: Aretha” costumes, and a book singing by National Geographic explorer and photographer Brian Skerry, a producer of the Disney Plus series “Secrets of the Whales.”