As a virtual awards show, the Emmys looks different not just for viewers but for the L.A. workers it employs

Local news
The LA Live Xbox Plaza usually crowded during the Emmys time is closed to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sept. 18, 2020, in Los Angeles. No red carpet, no star-studded audience and no "Game of Thrones" -- this year's Emmys honoring the best in television promise to be radically different as producers scramble to create Hollywood's first major pandemic-era awards show.(VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

The LA Live Xbox Plaza usually crowded during the Emmys time is closed to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sept. 18, 2020, in Los Angeles. No red carpet, no star-studded audience and no “Game of Thrones” — this year’s Emmys honoring the best in television promise to be radically different as producers scramble to create Hollywood’s first major pandemic-era awards show.(VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Each year, the Emmy Awards celebrate the best in TV — not just on a single Sunday in September but over three months of schmoozing and glad-handing that provide a boon to the local economy. The televised ceremony and the many events surrounding it, including press conferences, screenings, luncheons and splashy afterparties, employ thousands of people in and around Los Angeles, from TV crews, publicists and stylists to bartenders, line cooks, seat fillers and security guards.

While research on the show’s economic impact is scant, a study by the consulting firm Micronomics found that the 2012 Emmys provided $43 million in immediate benefits to Los Angeles County, including $2 million in spending by out-of-town visitors, $9 million from limousine rentals, wardrobe and event tickets, and $2 million from receptions and parties. With networks and streaming services now investing even more money in the Emmys, these numbers have almost certainly grown.

The Emmys are a perfect microcosm of the challenges facing the region, says Jay Tucker, executive director of UCLA‘s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports. “The entertainment industry really is the heart of the city. When we talk about L.A. — and really Southern California — so much rides on this ability for us to connect and create things in person. One can only hope this is not the new normal.”

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has made these large in-person gatherings unsafe for the foreseeable future, this Sunday’s virtual Emmys will be different for viewers at home as well as the many people who work behind the scenes to make the event happen. As part of our coverage of how this year’s awards are adapting to coronavirus health and safety constraints, we’ve profiled two of them.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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