The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has taken back the honorary Emmy it had awarded then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year. In a statement, the org announced on Tuesday that “in light of the New York Attorney General’s report, and Andrew Cuomo’s subsequent resignation as Governor, it is rescinding his special 2020 International Emmy Award. His name and any reference to his receiving the award will be eliminated from International Academy materials going forward.”
Cuomo had been given the International Emmy Founders Award “for effective communication and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the International Academy announced last year in selecting him for the honor.
The award was given to acknowledge Cuomo’s use of television to provide information and a sense of calm to viewers during the early outbreak of the pandemic. The award was created to recognize individuals for their ability to transcend cultural divides in connecting to a “common humanity.”
“The Governor’s 111 daily briefings worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure,” Bruce L. Paisner, International Academy president and CEO, said at the time. “People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back.”
Others previously honored with the Founders Award include Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Norman Lear.
The question of whether the International Academy would rescind the Emmy grew louder in recent weeks, after state Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation found that Cuomo had sexually harassed multiple women. The investigation, released on Aug. 3, found that Gov. Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
The report led to almost universal calls for Cuomo’s resignation, which he then announced on Aug. 10, with a two-week transition. New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul took office early this morning and will now serve out the rest of Cuomo’s term.
Cuomo had served as New York’s governor since 2010. He was re-elected both in 2014 and 2018, and he held the job of New York State Attorney General prior to serving in the position.
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, founded in 1969 and based in New York, is one of three organizations that hands out Emmy Awards. The Los Angeles-based Television Academy handles primetime and L.A.-area awards, while the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences oversees daytime and children’s, news and documentary, sports, technology and engineering, and local chapters through the rest of the country. The International Academy focuses on television programming produced outside of the United States.