2020 Creative Arts Emmys mistake sees 'This is Us' actor's award erroneously announced for Jason Bateman

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The Creative Arts Emmys experienced a minor bump in the road when Jason Bateman was announced as the winner of "This Is Us" actor Ron Cephas Jones' award.

The error occurred during Saturday's online Creative Arts Emmys, the precursor to Sunday's main ceremony and the culmination of a week of events honoring technical and other achievements.

Saturday's show was the only portion of the creative arts presentations to be televised, broadcasting the gaffe on FXX and making the error all the more glaring. In a voice-over announcement, Bateman was declared the winner for his guest appearance on HBO's “The Outsider,” while the screen displayed Jones' name.

The confusion wasn't addressed until after a commercial break, with an on-screen message that read, “Our apologies, an incorrect winner has been announced. We're fixing it now,” followed by the repeated display of Jones' name but without an announcement.

In this video grab issued Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, by The Television Academy, an apology is issued after the winner of the award for outstanding guest actor in a drama series was incorrectly announced during the 2020 Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
(The Television Academy via AP)

Jones was good-natured about the mistake when he fielded questions virtually afterward, focused instead on his second Emmy for “This Is Us” and especially on his daughter, actor-singer Jasmine Cephas Jones.

He expressed delight when learning that the pair made Emmy history as the first father and daughter to win in the same year. Her short-form series acting trophy came earlier this week for Quibi’s “#FreeRayshawn.”

“My heart just explodes when I think about her and watch her and the success that she’s had,” he said.

Bateman has another shot during the primetime show Sunday when he is competing for the best actor honors for “Ozark.”

Given the virtual event's lack of on-stage presenters and a theater audience, the error was far less dramatic than the 2017 Oscars mix-up, in which Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced “La La Land” as the best picture instead of winner “Moonlight.”

But the Emmys' misstep represented a cautionary note for Sunday's show, which also will be virtual because of the pandemic but has ambitious plans. More than 100 cameras are being deployed to nominees at home and elsewhere so winners can accept their award in real-time.

Actor Ron Cephas Jones’ Emmy award for ‘This Is Us’ was mistakenly announced for Jason Bateman, who had a guest role on HBO’s ‘The Outsider,’ at the 2020 creative arts portion of the show.

Other winners Saturday included Eddie Murphy, whose return to “Saturday Night Live” after more than three decades earned the star his first Emmy Award, for guest comedy series actor.

Maya Rudolph claimed the category’s guest actress trophy for her portrayal of Sen. Kamala Harris, two days after claiming a voice-over performance Emmy for “Big Mouth.”

Cherry Jones won the guest drama actress trophy for “Succession.”

Rudolph, also nominated in the comedy category for her guest role on “The Good Place,” paid tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg after the telecast. The robe worn by Rudolph's judge character was modeled on that of the Supreme Court associate justice, who died Friday.


“When you think of a judge, when you think of all-knowing, when you think of powerful, when you think of all good, yeah, we modeled her robe after RBG, so that was pretty cool," Rudolph said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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