After stepping down as governor, Andrew Cuomo will also have to part ways with his Emmy Award, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced today. Following the former New York governor’s resignation and sexual harassment scandal, the Academy has elected to rescind his trophy.
“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 organization said in a statement. “His name and any reference to his receiving the award will be eliminated from International Academy materials going forward.”
New York’s former governor initially won the Emmys Founders Award in November 2020, with the Academy bestowing the honor “in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and his masterful use of television to inform and calm people around the world.” When the pandemic began in early 2020, Cuomo would host daily coronavirus task force meetings, eventually earning him the prize.
“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 Paisner said in a press release 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.”
Cuomo made his official resignation yesterday (Aug. 23), with Kathy Hochul sworn in as the first woman governor of the state of New York today. His decision to step down came after New York Attorney General Letitia James concluded that he sexually harassed at least 11 women in a report released earlier this month.
According to the Emmys, the Founders Award is given to folks who “cross cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity.” Past recipients have included former Vice President Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and HBO. Prior to Cuomo, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss won the prize.
A similar circumstance occurred in 2017, in which Kevin Spacey was set as the recipient of the Founders Award. Following accusations of his sexual misconduct, however, the International Emmy Awards tweeted that he would no longer receive the prize.
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