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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Emmy awards called off after strikes
Workers dismantled the set after the announcement
Workers dismantled the set after the announcement
The Emmy television awards in the US have been called off due to American and British air strikes against Afghanistan.

The ceremony - American TV's biggest awards of the year - were due to take place on Sunday, 7 October.

It was not a day to celebrate

Les Moonves
Head of CBS Television
They were due to be broadcast live from Los Angeles and New York after being postponed from their original mid-September date, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the US.

Organisers must now decide whether to reschedule the ceremony yet again or cancel it.

"We're not at this point calling it a cancellation. We're looking at all the options," said Bryce Zabel, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

"This isn't about dollars. This is about doing the right thing."

News of air strikes broke on monitors at the venues
News of air strikes broke on monitors at the venues
The awards had been scheduled to take place amid unprecedented security measures.

The organisers had sought to create a night of muted celebration, asking participants to cut back on red-carpet arrival fanfare and forgo showy gowns and tuxedoes in favour of business attire.

The decision to call Sunday's show off was taken after heads of the major TV networks consulted each other.

"There was a general feeling of people feeling uncomfortable. It was not a day to celebrate, certainly," head of CBS Television Les Moonves said.

"It was the community really coming together and expressing the feeling that it would be the wrong thing to do this, to come together tonight."

Bryce Zabel, President of the Television Academy, and Les Moonves, President of CBS Television
Zabel and Moonves: "This is about doing the right thing"
High-profile stars and shows also expressed their desire that the show should not go ahead, he said.

"I did not speak to one person today from the community who was passionate about going on.

"This is the toughest decision I've ever been involved in. This is television. It's really small potatoes compared to what's going on out there in the world."

The three-hour ceremony, watched by millions across America, had originally been due to take place on 16 September.

But they were postponed because of national mourning following the attacks on New York and Washington.

If officially cancelled, it will be the first time the awards have been scrapped in their 53-year history.

The only other time the Emmys have been affected by world events was in 1978, when the ceremony was delayed by half an hour because then President Jimmy Carter announced the Camp David Accords.

See also:

01 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Emmy nominees get New York option
12 Sep 01 | Music
Award shows postponed
25 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
All-star telethon raises $150m
12 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Sopranos tops Emmy nominations
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