Now former Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is set to lose his International Emmy Award in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment. The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced that they are rescinding the award Cuomo won in 2020, as well as eliminating his name from any and all Academy materials moving forward.
Cuomo received the Founder’s Award last year in the wake of his daily briefings and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Academy had praised Cuomo for the way he utilized television to provide a sense of calm and safety during a trying time. Previous recipients of the Founder’s Award over the years have included Oprah Winfrey, J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg, and Norman Lear.
This is not the first time any of the media academies have taken back awards or rescinded inclusion in the wake of allegations. In 2017 the stateside Television Academy expelled disgraced Miramax founder, Harvey Weinstein, for life from their organization in the wake of his numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault.
The Cuomo case has gained ground over the last several months. Most recently the organization Time’s Up drew fire after a letter was published denouncing the group that claims to help survivors of sexual assault and harassment.
The letter appeared to have been inspired by recent revelations that Time’s Up leaders “Roberta Kaplan and Tina Tchen [were] named in the 165 page Attorney General’s report investigating the allegations of sexual harassment by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. In the detailed report, Kaplan and Tchen, in their roles at TIME’S UP, weaponized their knowledge of survivors experiences to help Governor Cuomo and his office retaliate against at least one of nearly a dozen women who were courageous in speaking up about the myriad of ways he abused his power and violated their bodies in the workplace.”
The International Emmys are different than the Emmys most people regularly hear about, focusing primarily on television crafted outside of the United States. This is the first major move by a media organization to distance themselves from Cuomo and it’s currently unknown if others will follow suit.