'Family Guy,' 'Simpsons' writers protest 'Community' animated episode on Emmy ballot, want 'same rights'
UPDATED: Animated series writers are protesting a decision by the Television Academy to allow NBC’s Community to compete for Emmys in animated categories, arguing that they should be allowed similar cross-genre privileges.
Community made it onto the Emmy nomination ballot in several categories, including best animated program — along with 33 entries from full-time animated shows. The episode, “Digital Estate Planning,” features the cast rendered into 8-bit characters to compete in an old-school-style video game.
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), David X. Cohen (Futurama) and Al Jean (The Simpsons) are among the 52 writer-producers who signed a letter to the TV Academy arguing that it’s not fair that Community writers can submit their work in both traditional comedy and animation categories. Animated writers have long been told they can only submit episodes for animated writing slots, which are handed out during the less glamorous Creative Arts ceremony instead of the major prime-time telecast. An animated program can, however, choose to compete against live action for the top prize of best comedy series — Family Guy has attempted to win the main category in the past — but apparently the rules are different for the writing categories.
Here’s the protest letter in its entirety. (No South Park guys entering the cartoon wars?). And below that, we’ve just added the TV Academy’s reply.
UPDATE: TV Academy replies: