The Primetime Emmys 2020 was pulled off with coronavirus-era adjustments necessary this morning, but there was always going to be a slip-up or two in the most unusual format the awards show has presented so far.
As Schitt’s Creek swept the comedy awards, taking out seven awards, their stringent social-distancing and mask-wearing quickly started to slip, and Jimmy Kimmel’s hosting gig was almost sure to run into controversy, though many weren’t expecting the dicey ICE joke the comedian dropped.
Succession took out the top prize for Oustanding Drama Series, and in perhaps the most eyebrow-raising gaffe of the evening, the show’s best actor winner Jeremy Strong got passionate in a very awkward live slip-up.
Succession’s Jeremy Strong swears during Best Actor win
Jeremy Strong took out Best Actor in a drama for his work playing Kendell Roy in HBO’s Succession, and in keeping with his character on the show, left everyone shocked with an unexpected twist to his speech.
After an emotional acceptance speech, the star thought he was in the clear when the camera cut away, but wasn’t expecting his microphone to pick up a decidedly rude reaction to his win.
“Holy sh*t,” the actor said, his microphone mistakenly broadcasting the expression to everyone tuning in to the awards.
The slip up was a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it moment that host Jimmy Kimmel quickly brushed over, but not before a few very sharp observers picked up on the risky slip-up.
Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘offensive’ joke blasted
After John Oliver picked up Outstanding Talk Series in the Variety Series category, Jimmy Kimmel who was also up for the award joked he would report the Englishman into US immigration authority ICE.
The joke, on the back of much controversy around practices being used in the detention of immigrants in the US went down like a lead balloon with plenty of viewers.
Apart from what many called the insensitivity of the joke, people called the joke ‘lazy’ given John Oliver is a US citizen, despite his British heritage and accent.
Schitt’s Creek winning streak sparks COVID concerns
The cast and crew of Schitt’s Creek raised eyebrows with their celebrations, some wondering how COVID-safe the set up truly was.
The cast and crew were set up in a venue using masks and social distancing, but as award after award rolled in, masks were ditched for hugs and kisses.
“I just touched my face and hugged you,” Andrew Cividino said to Daniel Levy while accepting Best Directing. “From a COVID perspective, this is terrible.”
Fans tended to agree, taking to Twitter to share their distaste for the very physical celebrations.
Watchmen’s cast flirted with a similar mishap when they swarmed in for a hug upon winning Outstanding Limited Series, but reassured onlookers they had all been tested in advance.
Friends reunion wows fans
Fans were left screaming, after Jennifer Aniston dialled in from home after her fiery appearance at the beginning of the show, with some very special friends jumping into the frame.
The Morning Show nominee was joined by Friends co-star Courtney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow in a Friends mini-reunion no one was expecting.
Surprise guest Jennifer Aniston kicks off the awards with a fiery mishap
The ceremony started out by taking an unforeseen turn when Friends star Jennifer Aniston showed up as a surprise celebrity in-person guest.
While other stars awaiting their awards or simply attending dialled in from home in an unprecedented new format, Jennifer was the first in-person celebrity guest to join host Jimmy Kimmel in the studio to present Best Actress in a Comedy.
It almost did not go to plan however, after Jimmy pulled a hilarious stunt, pretending to give the Emmy statue a thorough sanitisation that culminated in him setting the statue on fire.
Jen, who was standing by with a fire extinguisher, attempted to douse the fire but it proved almost as difficult to control as the virus behind the new format.
After several attempts, the fire was finally out, but eagle-eyed fans could not help but note that it was looking pretty dicey for a moment there.
Schitt’s Creek and Watchmen clean up
Schitt’’s Creek cleaned up in the comedy department, picking up seven wins for Best Actress and Actor in a comedy for Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy for Dan Levy and Annie Murphy, Best Writing for a Comedy Series and Best Directing for a Comedy Series for Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy.
They finished up with a seventh win for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Other notable wins are Watchmen which is blazing through the Limited Series nominations and is the most-nominated series of this year’s show.
Regina King took out Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series for her role, and writers Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson nabbed Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Movie.
Now, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has nabbed the series its third win for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie, and the program won Oustanding Limited Series.
Now Succession has joined the ranks of series sweeping through their category, so far picking up three wins for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for Jermy Hunt, Best Screenplay in a Drama Series and Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series.
Finally, the series nabbed the most coveted award of the night, Outstanding Drama Series for their second season.
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series was nabbed by former Disney star Zendaya for her gritty turn as drug-addicted teen Rue in Euphoria.
Meanwhile, Uzo Aduba picked up Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her role in Mrs America.
Notable changes to the format that have fans talking include presenters clad in hazmat tuxedos to bring the Emmy statues to star’s celebrating from home, or socially-distanced venues.