Daytime Emmys Judges Are Two-Thirds White, Roughly Split Between Men and Women

Transparency report released by NATAS gives first ever demographic survey of the organization’s judging pool for 2020 and 2021

Outside the Emmys (Getty Images)
Outside the Emmys (Getty Images)

The judges who select the winners of the Daytime Emmys are roughly two-thirds white, and the judging body is approximately half men and half women, according to data released by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) on Thursday.

The data comes from NATAS’ second-ever transparency report, which looked at voters for the Daytime Emmys and other Creative Arts Emmy categories for the awards in both 2020 and 2021, including for the News and Documentaries branch and Sports branch. In addition to detailed information about how nominations and winners are tabulated, as well as how inconsistencies are detected among voting categories, the report also includes the first such demographic survey of NATAS’ judging pool.

Of the 2,772 individuals who volunteered in the last two years to serve as judges, all were asked to participate as part of NATAS’ transparency report, and roughly two-thirds (1,724 people) elected to participate, with 86% of that group willing to publicly self-identify. Participation was highest in News & Doc, and lowest in Sports (77% News & Doc, 55% Daytime, 50% Sports), and the percentage opting to be personally identifiable was consistent across all three competitions.

So while the results are not comprehensive of every voter for the competitive Creative Arts Emmys categories, they provide a revealing subset. And NATAS says that the survey paints a picture of opportunity, with several areas in need of attention as NATAS seeks to expand and diversify its volunteer judging community, while also highlighting the institutional inequities that need to be confronted in the industry as a whole.

In the Daytime categories specifically, 68% of those willing to publicly self-identify racially identified as white, 16% were Black, 7% were Asian, and 9% were “Others or Unspecified.” 11% also ethnically identified as Hispanic or Latino/Latina, and 68% identified their sexual orientation as straight.

The Daytime Emmys categories were actually more racially diverse than the News & Doc and Sports fields, which were 70% white for News & Doc and 82% white for Sports. Though News & Doc had 13% identify as Hispanic/Latino/Latina and Sports just 7%. 77% and 92% of judges identified as straight in the News & Doc and Sports categories, respectively.

Women voters however actually slightly outpaced men in both the Daytime and News & Doc fields. Daytime was 49% women, 47% men and less than 1% non-binary, and News & Doc was 52% women and 45% men, less than 1% non-binary, while voters in the Sports fields were 73% men, just 25% women and 2% “unspecified.”

“With this report, NATAS is proud to be setting what we hope will become widely adopted benchmarks for transparency across all major awards competitions,” Adam Sharp, President and CEO, NATAS, said in a statement. “As Emmy submissions have increased the demands on our judges, we felt it was vital to be open with the changes we have adopted to ensure continued, equitable treatment for all submissions.”

The release of this report follows the recent announcement of the Children’s & Family Emmys getting their own awards show and moving 50 categories out of the Daytime Emmys, which will reduce the strain on the judging pool.

This year’s report also analyzed the last two years rather than just one as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic occurring at the same time NATAS was looking to implement changes to its scoring methodology, running its demographic pilot and conducting statistical trial runs of the monitoring algorithms. Though NATAS says it will publish transparency reports annually moving forward.

It’s also worth noting that the transparency report does not include the Technology & Engineering Emmys, which are peer review categories rather than competitive and do not go through the traditional process of entry, judging, nomination and presentation as laid out in the rules.