A real soap opera! Jeanne Cooper schemes to insult the Daytime Emmys
Now that Jeanne Cooper finally won the Daytime Emmy for best actress last year — after starring on TV's top-rated soap, "The Young and the Restless," for more than three decades — she plans to give TV's top award a stern slap right back if she prevails again at the ceremony Aug. 30. Right in the pocketbook.
The grande dame of soaps told TV Guide, "I'm dying to win so I can get up on stage, take out my plastic and say, 'Can I put this on Visa?' "
Cooper's planning a stealth attack on a relatively new policy that charges many winners for their statuettes: $325 apiece.
Actually, Cooper didn't have to pay up last year and won't again if she repeats, but many winners do. This is the third year that the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (which is based in New York and chiefly responsible for the Daytime Emmys) will give free statuettes to only one (sometimes two) winners per category. Others who are stuck in categories like best writing, which have lots of co-winners, will get certificates — or statuettes, if they pay $325, which is more than what it costs NATAS to manufacture them.
That's not true of the Prime-Time Emmys, which are bestowed by the rival Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles. All designated winners in its categories receive trophies. ATAS teams up with NATAS to bestow the Daytime Emmys, but it assumes a junior, handmaiden role and doesn't have a say in the controversial statuette policy, at least in terms of NATAS members. If someone who belongs to ATAS wins a Daytime Emmy, the West Coast academy — which decries the pay-if-you-win policy — agrees to reimburse members what they must pay NATAS to claim a statuette.
NATAS charges members because it's strapped for cash, largely from having to pay more than $1 million in legal fees to cover its repeated court battles with ATAS over Internet and Latin Emmys. When NATAS lost again and again to the Californians, the court stuck the New Yorkers with paying the steep legal fees for both sides.
Photo of Jeanne Cooper with her Emmy last year by Tom O'Neil / For The Times