TV & Movies

The Queens Gambit Leads Winners on Night One of Creative Arts Emmys

“The Queen’s Gambit,” “The Mandalorian,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Crown” and “Pose” were among the top winners Saturday as the first wave of this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards were handed out in downtown Los Angeles.

Netflix prevailed among networks and platforms with 12 wins, paced by seven trophies collected by limited series “The Queen’s Gambit.”

The ceremony was held outdoors in a tent in the L.A. Live complex because of pandemic conditions. Attendance was much smaller than in previous years because of the need for social distancing to protect against COVID-19 outbreaks. Those who did attend the show in person went through a gauntlet of paperwork and screenings on site to prove that they were vaccinated and had tested negative for the virus within the past 48 hours.

The first of three Creative Arts Emmy Award presentations also fell on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. That milestone was not lost on Eugene Lee, who won for production design on for his work on “Saturday Night Live.” In his remarks, Lee noted the parallels between the upheaval wrought by the attacks on New York and the Pentagon to the struggle today with the pandemic.

“Twenty years and two weeks ago we did our first show back,” Lee said of “SNL’s” return to production after the attacks. “That was the first time I realized I worked on more than show, but something that mattered on a much bigger scale in people’s lives. Last year it felt very similar to that moment.”

“The Queen’s Gambit’s” haul included wins for period costumes, period makeup, production design and cinematography for a limited series. The increasingly international nature of production was highlighted as several winners for the program referenced living outside the U.S. “I’m bringing this baby home to Berlin,” said “Queen’s Gambit” set decorator Sabine Schaaf as she hoisted her Emmy.

Another memorable moment came with presenters June Diane Raphael and Paul Scheer nearly had a snafu reminiscent of the 2017 Academy Awards when the wrong best picture winner was intially announced by presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. Raphael and Scheer stopped themselves before reading off a wrong winner.

“This does not feel right. This does not feel good,” Scheer deadpanned on stage. “I was paying attention enough to know that this was not a person who was nominated.”

Afterwards, Raphael told reporters backstage that the moment was real, not scripted. “I had a moment where I looked at Paul and thought ‘Did we hear that nominee?,’ ” Raphael said. It turned out had the right card but were reading the wrong section. “I got yelled at by the accountant,” Scheer added backstage. “The best part of my night was getting yelled at by the PriceWaterHouseCoopers guy.”

More to come

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