The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is committed to its
plans for a Latin Emmy Awards event, even if it has to battle its Los Angeles-based
sister organization, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, to get there.
NATAS president Peter Price said Thursday that his organization will ask an
arbitrator to stop ATAS from delaying its Latin Emmy plans. Price has brought on
legal ace David Boies to represent NATAS in the dispute.
Under their partnership agreement, NATAS and ATAS have to both green-light any
new awards event. Price presented his Latin Emmy plans to the Los Angeles
academy about six months ago. He said that's given ATAS adequate time to mull
over the idea. "Our request should not be unreasonably withheld. We want to
stage an award next year," Price said.
"We're completely flexible," he added. "We just haven't heard from [ATAS] on
exactly what they want."
NATAS was seeking to jointly stage the event. Price said his organization
would now proceed alone, but he needs ATAS' backing or an arbitrator to rule in
ATAS is apparently wary of diluting existing award shows and offending the
Hispanic community. Price recalls one member asking, "What's next: a Tasmanian
award? Where do you stop?" But Price said he has the support of Hispanic
community leaders and politicians.
The major Spanish-language networks appeared to support it, as well. Telemundo Communications Group Inc.
and Univision Communications Inc. would alternate years broadcasting the event and pay an
unspecified license fee.
A Latin Emmy awards, as NATAS envisions it for now, would honor
Spanish-language programming that originates in both the United States and other
"[Hispanics] who appear on Spanish-language television like novellas, news
and sports, you never see or hear about because they are invisible in the
English-language awards," Price said.