'What are we doing?'
For the first time in two years, the Emmys is back with a live audience. But Seth Rogen, for one, seems a bit concerned.
The 2021 Emmys kicked off on Sunday, gathering a live audience together in a tent rather than having nominees accept their awards remotely, and when Rogen presented the first award of the evening, he expressed concern about the size of the crowd in attendance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Let me start by saying there is way too many of us in this little room," Rogen said. "What are we doing? They said this was outdoors. It's not! They lied to us! We're in a hermetically sealed tent right now!"
Rogen declared he "would not have come" to the Emmys at all if he was aware of this setup, which he decried as "insane," also asking, "Why is there a roof?" He joked, "It's more important that we have three chandeliers than that we don't kill Eugene Levy tonight."
The Emmys was originally set to take place in the Microsoft Theater, only to be scaled back as a result of the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. It was the first Emmys to take place with a live, in-person audience since 2019. The previous Emmys was held in an empty auditorium amid the pandemic, with nominees accepting their awards video live video feeds from various locations. Attendees of the 2021 Emmys were required to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test result.
Not long after Rogen's remarks, the Emmys broadcast cut to DJ Reggie Watts, who told viewers the show was, in fact, following COVID-19 safety guidelines. Host Cedric the Entertainer was also sure to point out to viewers that members of the audience had been vaccinated. Vanity Fair's Katey Rich joked, "How much of the remainder of the Emmys will be devoted to people denouncing Seth Rogen."