Showbiz Commentary: Heidi Oringer

At this point, we remain Emmyless. It's a strange feeling … almost like being naked at an amusement park. For the second time in less than a month, the 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards have been postponed.

I was there Sunday, dressed down as designated by the organizers. The atmosphere was a bit subdued and somber, even a little quiet. In past awards ceremonies, there were crazy fans in bleachers awaiting the red-carpet arrival of their favorite television star. They'd scream at the top of their lungs, deafening those closest to them and making it impossible for the media to hear the very actor or actress they are trying to interview. From a strictly business perspective, that was a welcome change.

Other than that, there was only one other glaring omission, which many considered more of a blessing. It had been announced earlier in the week that Joan and Melissa Rivers would not be doing the pre-show for E! Entertainment Television. (You see, every cloud does have a silver lining.) But truly, aside from the absence of the sharp-tongued comedian with the entertainment knowledge of a gnat and her daughter littering the carpet with mindless observations, things looked close to normal and like they were going on as scheduled.

No Word on Who Felt Uncomfortable

There were beautiful flower arrangements, the traditional red carpet, and hordes of media setting up their lines and cameras. Caterers were scurrying around with prepared meals to be served at the Unity Dinner, the renamed after-party celebration for the Governor's Ball. All seemed to be in order.

Then the decision came around 12:30 p.m. PT. There would be no Emmy Awards presented on Sunday, Oct. 7. There would be no fanfare, no winners, no losers, no nothing, except a news conference explaining the "postponement."

Bryce Zabel, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, CBS President Les Moonves and Emmys executive producer Don Mischer appeared about two hours later to explain the reasoning behind their unanimous decision.

Although they would not confirm which celebrities refused to attend, Mischer did say many felt uncomfortable about participating on a day when the United States had gone to war. Moonves added that accepting an award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series seemed trivial after what had transpired.

So we all went home with nothing to talk about. But it left me with a nagging feeling. (Actually I had a tag sticking me in the neck.) If we are supposed to be getting on with our lives, why aren't we getting on with our lives?

Celebrating in Troubled Times

I realize the severity of the situation in Afghanistan and its repercussions on the people of the United States, but even our president has pleaded with us to go on with our lives.

The Emmys have been a staple of the television industry for 53 years. This is the first time the ceremony has ever been canceled on the actual day it was to take place. Even the Oscars, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and after Reagan's attempted assassination in 1981, went on … delayed a few days, but they carried on. During World War II, the Oscars were broadcast with Jimmy Stewart clad in an army uniform, but they went on. It's 2001 and we are obligated to do the same.

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