Shocking Revelation: Fake Emmy Awards Exposed at ESPN

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NATAS Takes Back Dozens of Fake Emmy Awards Given to ESPN Employees

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has made a shocking revelation about fake Emmy Awards given to ESPN employees. According to a report in The Athletic, NATAS has taken back at least 37 awards that were won by fake ESPN employees and then re-engraved and given to ineligible hosts.

The awards in question were given for the popular show “College GameDay,” which won multiple awards for outstanding weekly studio show. However, at the time of the show’s victories, on-air talent was not allowed to win outside of individual categories to prevent them from winning two awards for the same work, a practice known as “double-dipping” in the NATAS rulebook.

In an attempt to honor on-air talent, ESPN executives included employees with names similar to those of on-air personalities, even going so far as to use identical initials. This practice has been going on since at least 2010, with ESPN inserting fake names in Emmy entries, re-engraving the awards won by these fictional individuals, and giving them to on-air personalities.

Some of the recipients of these awards intended for fictitious “associate producers” were well-known faces of the network, including Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Shelley Smith, and Gene Wojciechowski.

The Athletic also analyzed the social media posts of some on-air talent who received these Emmy Awards and found that some, like “SportsCenter” anchor Linda Cohn, received awards for which they were not eligible.

ESPN has confirmed that they brought in outside counsel for an investigation into this matter and disciplined the individuals responsible. They have also apologized to NATAS for violating guidelines and have completely overhauled their submission process to prevent such incidents from happening again.

As a result of these revelations, NATAS has barred ESPN executives from future Emmy consideration. Additionally, the senior leadership of “College GameDay” has been barred from this year’s ceremony.

While it is unclear who orchestrated this scheme, Craig Lazarus, vice president and executive producer of original content and features, and Lee Fitting, a senior vice president of production who oversaw “College GameDay” and other properties, were among the ESPN employees ruled ineligible by NATAS for future participation in the Emmys.

This scandal has undoubtedly tarnished the reputation of ESPN and raises questions about the integrity of the Emmy Awards. It serves as a reminder that even in the world of television, where talent and recognition are highly valued, honesty and adherence to rules should never be compromised.