BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Andrew Cuomo is out of office, and out of Emmys. The International Academy announced Tuesday that it was stripping the former New York governor of his International Emmy Founders Award less than 13 hours after his resignation became official.
Cuomo was given the award in November 2020 for his series of coronavirus press conferences, with the Academy lauding his “masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.” Nine months later, the Academy rescinded the award.
“The International Academy announced today 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,” the group said in a statement. “His name and any reference to his receiving the award will be eliminated from International Academy materials going forward.”
Cuomo gave 111 consecutive daily briefings last year at the start of the pandemic, providing New Yorkers with critical news, updates, and statistics alongside a dose of bloviation. The briefings were known for their blunt assessment of the pandemic, their slideshows, and their props—and they even made minor stars of the governor himself, his top aide Melissa DeRosa and sign language interpreter Arkady Belozovsky.
CNN wrote last summer that the briefings “have drawn comparisons to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats during the Great Depression and World War II.” After the streak was broken, the briefings resumed periodically throughout the course of the pandemic.
“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,” International Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said when announcing the award. “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.”
The Academy presents its Founders Award to an individual or organization who “crosses cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity.” Previous recipients include Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg.