HBO boss clarifies why Gwendoline Christie, Alfie Allen’s names were omitted from Game of Thrones’ Emmy submissions
HBO programming chief Casey Bloys was in the firing line at the recent TCA’s Summer Press Tour event, where he answered several questions about the recently concluded series, Game of Thrones, and the many controversies that surrounded its final season. Bloys spoke about why HBO had failed to submit the names of actors Gwendoline Christie, Alfie Allen and Carice Van Houten for Emmys consideration. All three ended up self-submitting their names, and were subsequently nominated.
“The challenge of a series that big is if everybody submitted themselves... everybody could cancel out the entire show. So, there’s strategic thinking in terms of how to submit and who to submit,” Bloys said, and added that HBO assisted the actors in the self-submission process. “And I think it’s the first time that anybody who ever self-submitted was nominated, so I think it’s great,” he added.
Christie, Allen and Van Houten self-submitted their names, picking up the $225 entry fee themselves. Allen was nominated for best supporting actor in a drama series, Christie was nominated for best supporting actress in a drama series and Van Houten was nominated for best guest actress in a drama series.
In addition to the three, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner were among the Game of Thrones cast members to have been nominated.
Several fans had expressed their dismay at HBO’s strategy, and had taken to social media to call them out on it. Bloys also defended the show against fan backlash, in particular the petition asking HBO to redo the final season with different writers. He said, “There are very, very few downsides to having a hugely popular show, but one I can think of is when you try to end it, many people have big opinions on how it should end. The petition shows a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the show, but it wasn’t something that we seriously considered.”
Bloys seemed to be in a defensive mood at the event, and also spoke about the recent allegations against HBO for having wrenched creative control of the second season of Big Little Lies from director Andrea Arnold. He said, “Let me clarify. There wouldn’t be a second season without Andrea. We’re indebted to her. As anybody who works in television knows, a director typically does not have final creative control.” He added, “The entire producing team all asked Jean-Marc to come in and hone the episodes. I would be hard pressed to point to any show that airs the director’s cut of any episodes.”
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