The Emmys Allowed Music Supervisors In, But Tension With the TV Academy Remains

Variety | 8/20/2019 | Jon Burlingame
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It’s been a long road to Television Academy acceptance for music supervisors. In 2015, after years of lobbying, music supervisors gained entry to the music branch. In 2017, they got their own category at the Emmys, but weren’t allowed to vote in any other music competition. This year, music supervisors can vote in all seven music categories, thrilling some, enraging others.

In fact, you could say no one was happy. For the many composers and songwriters who make up the bulk of the approximately 600 members of the Academy “peer group,” as the branch is officially called, their efforts to keep music supervision out of contention as a category worthy of recognizing, have been thwarted. At the same time, some music supervisors are upset with how the new outstanding music supervision category is being handled — essentially questioning the Academy’s ability to judge the placement of songs or other musical works into programs.

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“The TV Academy allowed all this to happen without the membership of the peer group being involved at all,” says former music governor and Emmy-winning composer Mark Watters, who at the time presented the Academy president with a petition, signed by every living former music governor, opposing the addition of music supervisors. “It was completely ignored.”

Deepening the chasm, many composers believe that music supervisors are not qualified to judge the other music categories and, despite the official term, are not in fact “peers.” Also, many music supervisors are now in a position to hire composers on shows and that, contends another composer (who requested anonymity for this story), “is unfair and against the bylaws of the Academy to be judged by someone who has the power to hire you.”

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For the most part, music supervisors — who are still barred from joining the Motion Picture Academy music branch — are...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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