For the last fifteen or more years I’ve volunteered to judge for the College Emmy Awards, sponsored by the Academy for Television Arts & Sciences . Not everyone likes to judge for the students as it isn’t so ‘cool’. I do it as a way to give back to an industry that was very kind to me my whole business life – 40+ years. The students are the next generation of the media.
During this last Emmy Awards show, I was pleased when the President of the Academy discussed the College Emmys and how many efforts are made to encourage the next generation. All that is the good part. I did not go to the College Emmys this year as usual. Normally, as a judge, I go to honor the winners. The last two times I attended the event, which, while smaller, is put on with the same class as the regular Emmys, A-list TV stars as presenters, Tom Bergeron often hosts. I was appalled and embarrassed by the incivility of the student attendees and the professors who attended with them. The banquet room was filled with people on cell phones, texting, yelling, taking selfies, running from table to table throughout the presentation of awards. Students got so drunk on the free wine they were carried out and placed on couches in the foyer. A friend and I sat at a table with two other judges and the rest were students and professors who couldn’t be bothered to talk to any of us. They were solely occupied with their phones. After the last event, I decided I was no longer going to drag my sorry butt up to LA. Why don my best bib and tucker to offer my humble knowledge to this rude and rowdy bunch? They were obviously unconcerned by the opportunities being offered, and too self obsessed to meet the large number of professionals in attendance. However, on their behalf, I have to say the quality of the productions submitted grow more professional and creative each year. I guess brilliance eschews manners in this brave new world we live in.