What You Didn't See On TV At The 2017 Emmy Awards

The 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards were filled with the usual levels of cheeky humor, emotional acceptance speeches, political calls to action, and the all-around excitement that one expects from the award show. Fortunately, the Emmys had no La La Land-Moonlight snafu, but there were still some major moments that happened behind-the-scenes before, during, and after the telecast. Here's what you didn't see on TV during the 2017 Emmys.  

Several stars sported blue ribbons to support the ACLU

The 2017 Emmys red carpet was filled with blue. Several nominees and guest presenters sported simple, blue ribbons pinned to their ensembles to show support for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Those who visibly supported the organization included The Night Of star Riz Ahmed, co-presenters B.D. Wong and Matt Bomer, The Handmaid's Tale stars Ann Dowd and Elisabeth Moss, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, Transparent stars Judith Light and Kathryn Hahn, Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani, and Homeland star Mandy Patinkin. 

The ACLU has been pursuing legal remedies to combat several of President Donald Trump's executive actions, including his ban against transgender troops serving in the U.S. military, his travel ban to block immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations, and his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Given this fashion statement and the political atmosphere of the evening's speeches, it was clear from the start that many stars came out for more than just an evening of entertainment. 

Shailene Woodley dissed her own profession

Shailene Woodley might've been an Emmy nominee for her work on HBO's Big Little Lies, but the actress used her time on the red carpet to proclaim that she does not have time to watch television. She told red carpet reporters, "All my friends watch TV. I just ask them when they have time to. When do people have time to? I'm a reader. So I always read a book instead of turning on my TV... I actually haven't had a TV since I moved out of my parents' house at 18." 

Woodley is known for being a modern-day hippie who even fetches her own water from natural springs rather than drinking from the tap, but her deprecation of the entertainment industry, and particularly the medium that was being celebrated, was considered extreme, even for her. 

People were not happy about Sean Spicer's cameo

Although it might have been meant as a cheeky wink to the fact that Melissa McCarthy won outstanding guest actress in a comedy series thanks to her impression of "Spicey" on Saturday Night Live, the opening monologue cameo by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn't land very well with audiences. During the cameo, he brought in his own roving podium to assure host Stephen Colbert that his crowd size would be the biggest, period. The bit quickly went viral, but for all the wrong reasons.

Some rebuked the decision to invite Spicer to the awards, questioning if the move normalized the embattled White House staffer and suggesting that some of his remarks made while on the real podium were no laughing matter. Alec Baldwin, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Donald Trump on SNL, defended the decision to include Spicer in the ceremony. "I think people in the business, the average person, is very grateful for him to have a sense of humor and participate," he told press. "I mean, Spicer obviously was compelled to do certain things that we might not have respected or we might not have admired...in order to do his job, but I've done some jobs that are things you shouldn't admire or respect me for either." 

The entire show was trolled by BoJack Horseman

Hulu had a great night at the Emmys, becoming the first streaming service to win outstanding drama series for The Handmaid's Tale, but competitor Netflix went home with a little less in hand. Online, at least one star of a Netflix series was busy trolling the Emmys like only he could. BoJack Horseman's eponymous star spent nearly the entire telecast tweeting snarky remarks, and although BoJack is a fictional character, his faux status as an embattled Hollywoo (no "d") figure certainly made his commentary that much more entertaining to follow in real time.

Jackie Hoffman's reaction to losing was absolutely wild

Feud: Bette and Joan star Jackie Hoffman had an instantly meme-able reaction to losing out to Laura Dern of Big Little Lies in the best supporting actress in a limited series category. She was spotted mouthing "dammit, dammit" after her name wasn't called for the prize. Afterward, Hoffman proceeded to lob strange accusations against Dern via Twitter. "Laura Dern had famous parents. Forgive me for being from real people #elitism ," said one of her tweets.

After that, her comments became even more bonkers. Hoffman accused Dern of running a "child porn ring" and "loot[ing] art from Nazis." Eventually, it became clear Hoffman that others weren't necessarily seeing her remarks as jokes, so she wrote, "I hear the media actually taking my reaction seriously? Are you kidding me?" For a minute there, it looked like Hoffman was the sorest loser of the night.  

Ben Affleck and Lindsay Shookus made their official debut as a couple

Although he got no airtime because he was neither a nominee nor a presenter, Ben Affleck did come to the Emmys as the plus-one of Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus, who has become his official girlfriend after his split from long-time wife Jennifer Garner. SNL was on the receiving end of more than a dozen nominations and six wins at the Emmys, so although they didn't pose for the press line, Affleck was seen supporting his new gal. The two were spotted by reporters celebrating the show's successful night backstage at the VIP lounge. Even though they've been seen out and about before the Emmys, this was their first official outing as a couple to a high-profile event. 

#DCPublicSchools became a thing

Dave Chappelle and John Oliver went viral propping the District of Columbia Public School system during their time at the mic. While presenting, Chappelle gave a shout-out to his alma mater, and after that, Emmy-winner John Oliver lauded D.C. schools as well, saying that it would be interesting to see the district become a trending topic for "no reason whatsoever."

Indeed, it did. #DCPublicSchools became the second-highest trending topic of the evening and even prompted several viral responses from the school system's official Twitter account as a token of gratitude. 

Folks were furious about Roger Ailes being part of the in memoriam segment

Any awards show's in memoriam segment is bound to drudge up some bad feelings—whether it's over unequal time spent on one person over another, someone important being omitted from the honor, or just plain disfavor of the tradition at large. The 69th Emmy Awards had an unusual complaint on its hands: viewers were more angered over who was included in the segment than who wasn't, particularly controversial former Fox News boss Roger Ailes.

Ailes was accused of sexual assault multiple times by former employees and ultimately resigned as CEO before his passing in May 2017. For many, his inclusion in the Emmys' memorial roll was especially upsetting. "Hey , Please don't put Roger Ailes on the same list as Gwen Ifill, ever," tweeted one viewer. "Had to turn it off. My industry hanging with Sean Spicer and honoring Roger Ailes made me depressed," tweeted another. 

Sterling K. Brown finally got to finish his acceptance speech

This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown took home one of the night's biggest prizes—best actor in a drama series—but his time at the podium ended on a somewhat low note. After recognizing those who'd come before him, Brown proceeded to thank his co-stars individually with thoughtful and poignant notes of praise for each. But before he could finish, Brown was drowned out by music that the actor insisted was louder than others who'd accepting their prizes earlier in the show. 

The internet was immediately outraged by the cut-off. Backstage, Brown finished his acceptance speech, telling press, "I wouldn't mind finishing. Thank you for the invitation. I wanted to thank our writers. A show doesn't get seven acting nominations without some impeccable, beautiful, thoughtful writing. You guys are our life's blood." He went on to thank the show's producers and execs by name, along with his longtime manager, wife, and children, quipping, "they cut me off before I got to thank my wife, man." 

The voice that guided the whole show was a TV star in his own right

Although The Late Show's Stephen Colbert was the host of the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, it was another man who truly controlled the pace and presentation of the event. Superior Donuts star Jermaine Fowler served as the announcer for the evening, delivering voice-over commentary between each award presentation and ushering in commercial breaks with quick quips. Some of his notes were standard, while others were a bit more off-the-cuff: "She finished high school two years early. I read that on the internet," he said of Elisabeth Moss, as she took the stage to accept her best actress in a drama series win.

According to CBS Entertainment Executive Vice President Jack Sussman, Fowler was picked for the job because the network wanted to avoid commentary being stale or separated from the action. "What most awards show do is have the announcer locked in a closet reading from a script on cue. What we will do is have Jermaine be an active part of the show. He will be connected with what's happened on the telecast and what happens next. What we want to do is get a peek behind the curtain in a fun, engaging way," he said. Reactions were mixed: some felt Fowler's commentary needed some finesse; others considered him the unseen hero of the entire program