The Emmys Must Never Be Joked About – Even When You’re Serious 

Kidding or not kidding?

Director/producer/one-man brand Lee Daniels has gotten into trouble (maybe) for making a joke (maybe) about the Emmys. His mega-successful show Empire, a guilty pleasure for millions, came up short with only one major nomination – Taraji P. Henson in the best actress category – plus two for costumes, and zilch for the show itself, or for the awesome Terrance Howard.


So what did Daniels do? According to the august publication Variety, he went over to his internet home (Instagram) and said, “Fuck these motherfuckers.” And Variety was shocked! “Omigod!” they squealed. “That is sooo politically incorrect to mess with the sacred Academy of Television Sciences or whatever. And also what is up with black people being so scary.”

So was it just a joke or an embarrassing meltdown? We’re only asking questions! Was it exactly like Donald Trump picking on John McCain, and now Lee Daniels will never get to be President? Let’s go to the videotape!

#canfinallypostthis #timetoberealagain #emmyniceguyoverwith @jussiesmollett ?

A video posted by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

We think the fact that his gram co-star, Jussie Smollett, is clearly on script and trying not to laugh might be a clue to kidding. Daniel’s abrupt tone shift might be another sign of the humor.” The ear to ear “I’m about to make a funny” smile on his face is often a “tell” when someone is making a joke. Furthermore, like many directors (we won’t mention names), Daniels directs because he’s not much of an actor, and there’s more than a hint of self-consciousness to his performance.

Verdict: Lighten up. Of course he was joking!

So are the writers at Variety actually humor deficient? Or might they have had a reason for their dramatic headline: “Snubbed by Emmy Awards, Co-creator Lee Daniels Reacts with F-Bomb.” Why on earth would an advertising-dependent website that makes its moneez from clicks have a misleading headline implying someone was dead serious when he wasn’t? And why would a thousand other advertising-dependent blogs and zines continue to run with the story for days?

Some mysteries will never be solved, but in an attempt to clear things up, Daniels made another Instragram about the brouhaha, which has now been seen by every person on earth.

#shutuphaters #emmypower #congratstoall ?????

A video posted by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

He says he was just having fun in case you’re too scared of the angry/smiling black man to hit play.

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

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