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Emmys alter rules to combat America's crippling EGOT epidemic

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer (Getty Images)

If there’s just one problem plaguing America at this moment of history, it’s gotta be all these damn EGOT winners. It’s gotten to the point that you can’t look under a porch or walk into a trendy eatery in L.A. anymore without running into a whole horde of winners of all four of the American performing arts’ most prominent awards, skittering away from the light with various trophies clanging loudly as they run off into the night. Meanwhile, Hollywood pest control specialists are at their wits’ end, desperately trying to clear out nests that are sometimes made up of as many as 20 award show gifting suite’s worth of material at a time.Rita Moreno haunts the nightmares of a weary nation.

Mercifully, the Television Academy—admitting its role in the problem, given that it’s handing out (exactly) a quarter of these things—hasstepped forward to do something about it. Per Billboard, the TV Academy has announced that it’s getting rid of one of the categories for the Daytime Emmy awards, in what’s being perceived as a move to cut down on our infrastructure-draining EGOT glut. Specifically, the organization is giving the axe to Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program, i.e., “Go on a morning show and collect an Emmy for singing the big number from your hit Broadway musical.”

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Said category has contributed to the EGT (sans O) status of a number of performers since it was added just four years ago, including Ben Platt, Rachel Bay Jones, Katrina Lenk, Ari’el Stachel, and Harriet star Cynthia Erivo, now in the running for potential status as the youngest EGOT winner of all time. All of these performers are extremely good, obviously, but it’s also undeniable that they got three-quarters of this totally unofficial, completely meaningless milestone on the backs of a single Broadway show apiece. The flow-chart is pretty simple: You win the Tony, then you win the Grammy for the cast album, then you pick up the Emmy on the cheap. One quick “Best Original Song” nom, and you’re set. Simplicity itself! 

But no more: Future Broadway heroes will have to take their GT without the E, at least until they can do things the old-fashioned, John-Legend-sort-of-way—i.e., by signing on for one of the now inescapable live TV musicals that regularly invade the schedule. The anti-EGOT effort wasn’t the only change made to this year’s Emmy rules, meanwhile; the Academy also added inclusive language to its guidelines, including explicitly noting that performers are eligible in whichever of the gendered categories they feel most comfortable with. It also merged Younger Actor and Younger Actress in a Drama Series into a single non-gendered category, and added three new groupings: Outstanding Young Adult Program, Outstanding Picture Editing for an Animated Program, and Outstanding Special Effects Costumes, Makeup and Hairstyling. 

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