Do screenwriters deserve an Emmy for someone else’s work?
The Emmy awards generate television’s biggest night with many excellent TV shows taking home the coveted trophy. However, how many of these shows truly deserved the awards they won? In particular, do the screenwriters of these acclaimed TV shows deserve to be awarded an Emmy for works created by other authors?
HBO series “Chernobyl” took home the coveted award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Movie. Craig Mazen, the writer, was praised for his amazing creation and genius work of art as he is currently making his way to becoming a very well-known writer in Hollywood. Although he is a very good writer with many creations to his name, I believe he is not eligible or even deserving of this award.
The true honor should be presented to Svetlana Alexievich, whose masterful book “Voices from Chernobyl,” is what the HBO show is based off of. However, many people who watch the show do not even realize that this TV show is based off a book.
This also applies in the case of Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones has won the Outstanding Writing Award for a Drama Series twice. Gradually, as the show continued to flourish, so did David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s careers, despite the fact that all they did was copy the plot over from the book to a script. Although George R.R Martin is a very well-known author and had gained fame for this book series well before it was adapted to a small screen, it was still Benioff and Weiss who collected the prestigious award while George R.R Martin got meagre acknowledgement in the credits for his role in making the show a success.
The Emmys are partly to blame for this misplaced admiration since they award TV screenwriters credit for someone else’s masterful creation, without acknowledging the original creator. So, are screenwriters who are accredited as outstanding writers deserving to win those awards when the work was created by someone else? In my opinion, no. They do not deserve those awards.
I believe awarding screenwriters for outstanding writing takes credit for the original work, even if this was not the screenwriter’s intention. Credit should be given where it is earned and not just to writers who transfer the work of someone else onto a script. This takes away all the effort and work the writers put into the books and makes all their hard work futile. Although I acknowledge that the original writers did form contracts for their works to be used, they should still be known for the success of a TV show and not just the screenwriters. Though George R .R. Martin is mentioned in the credits of Game of Thrones, not many people attribute the show to his creative work.
Furthermore, these screenwriters also take away from other screenwriters who actually write original and well-developed scripts. This takes away from the screenwriters who did take the time and effort to write something truly riveting and gives credit to screenwriters who had the script basically handed to them.
At the end of the day, it is screenwriters who adapt another individual’s work that win the Emmy Awards while the true writers are not awarded anything for their creations. It is about time that the Emmys address this issue and give credit where credit is due rather than blindly hand out acknowledgements when they are not earned.