TV Academy revokes Cuomo's Emmy after resignation

Hours after leaving office, scandal-tainted former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo suffered another defeat Tuesday, losing the special Emmy Award he received last year for his daily, televised briefings on the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said in a statement that given Cuomo’s resignation amid a torrent of sexual harassment allegations it was taking away the prize and removing any reference to him in its official materials.

A message seeking comment was left with Cuomo’s lawyer.

Cuomo left office at 12 a.m. Tuesday, two weeks after he announced he would resign rather than face an impeachment battle that seemed inevitable after a report by independent investigators — overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James — concluded he had sexually harassed 11 women.

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The report marked a stunning downfall for Cuomo, whose leadership during the COVID-19 crisis drew widespread praise and accolades, including from the television academy, and led to a book deal for him worth at least $5 million.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, whose members include media and entertainment figures from over 60 countries and 500 companies, presented its Founders Award to Cuomo during a live-streamed ceremony in November.

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In 2017, the academy reversed its decision to give the Founders Award to actor Kevin Spacey after he was accused of sexual misconduct. Other recipients of the award over the years have included former Vice President Al Gore, TV icon Oprah Winfrey, and director Steven Spielberg.

Cuomo used his more than 100 Powerpoint-driven slideshows and his sometimes emotional, sometimes acerbic style to provide daily updates and detail his administration’s efforts to guide the state through the pandemic, which has left tens of thousands of New Yorkers dead.

In announcing the award for Cuomo, International Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said his briefings "worked so well because he effectively created television shows, with characters, plot lines, and stories of success and failure."

"People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back," Paisner said at the time.