The Dr. Oz Show Shut Out of Daytime Emmys for First Time in a Decade: Were the Host's Controversial Coronavirus Comments to Blame?

Dr Oz Emmy Nomination 2020 Snub Coronavirus Comments

For the first time in more than a decade, neither The Dr. Oz Show nor its host, Dr. Mehmet Oz, have been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. (See list of nominees here.)

Might the snub have something to do with a controversy in which Oz suggested that American schools shut down by the coronavirus pandemic should reopen sooner rather than later? On Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel show in April, Oz said putting kids back in school was “an appetizing opportunity” and that he’d read a medical-journal article saying that doing so “may only cost us 2-3 percent in terms of total mortality.”

He added: “And, you know, any life is a life lost, but to get every child back into a school where they’re safely being educated and being fed and making the most out of their lives with a theoretical risk on the backside, it might be a tradeoff some folks would consider.”

Oz soon posted a video on Twitter in which he apologized for what he says was an unfortunate mistake. “I’ve realized my comments on risks around opening schools have confused and upset people, which was never my intention,” he said in the video. “I misspoke.” He then cited his career as a heart surgeon, in which risk is a constant concern, and vowed to “continue looking for solutions to help beat this virus.”

Oz appeared on Hannity on April 14. He tweeted his apology April 16. A Daytime Emmy rep could not yet confirm the exact window for voting on nominations, but voting is believed to have closed at the end of May.

Oz’s syndicated talk show premiered in 2009. It has been nominated for Outstanding Talk Show/Informative five times, starting in 2010, and won four times. Oz himself has been nominated for Outstanding Talk Show Host every year since 2010 — 10 nominations overall — and has won three times.

The Dr. Oz Show currently is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

In a March 18 guest column for our sister site Variety, Oz vowed to keep filming his show “so we can focus on coronavirus coverage for as long as possible while keeping the safety of my staff and crew top of mind.” The next day, The Dr. Oz Show shut down production after a staff member tested positive for the virus.

Oz, like President Donald Trump, also has been a proponent of using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus despite the medical community’s hesitance to do so without clinical trials. However, Oz recently walked back his enthusiasm for the drug, telling the Fox & Friends hosts “we don’t know” exactly how the medicine will interact with the virus.

Dr. Phil host Phil McGraw also recently made similar headlines for musing about why America was taking the virus so seriously. “The fact of the matter is, we have people dying, 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools, but we don’t shut the country down for that, but yet we’re doing it for this?” he said on on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle. “And the fallout is going to last for years because people’s lives are being destroyed.”

Dr. Phil has not been nominated in the category since 2014. McGraw has not been nominated as host since 2007.

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