UPDATED: The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has issued a formal statement on the matter, saying, “Consistent with the Trademark Policy engraved on the base of each statuette, NATAS has made arrangements with the producers of ‘General Hospital’ for the Academy’s safekeeping of Ms. Eddy’s statuette in her memory.”
Soap Opera Network understands that part of the engraving on the base of each Emmy statuette indicates that it should be returned to the Academy in the event the recipient’s heir or successor in interest decides to sell it or dispose of it and that such persons shall be obligated to return the statuette to the Academy from which it was received. Therefore, the Academy would retain the statuette in storage in the memory of the recipient.
EARLIER: Although there are no plans to take legal action at this time, the family of the late Sonya Eddy, who won a posthumous Daytime Emmy Award last month in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama Series for her role as Epiphany Johnson on “General Hospital,” is asking the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) to intervene in their battle over who gets to keep the golden statue, reports TMZ.
During the Friday, December 15 broadcast of “The 50th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards,” Tyler Ford, Eddy’s long-time producing partner and friend, accepted the late actor’s Emmy award nearly one year after she passed away after she experienced complications from a non-emergency surgery.
In his speech, Ford said, “Accepting these flowers is bittersweet. I know that Sonya would only relish in the sweet. I want to thank Frank Valentini more than anything for being a faithful friend, and Disney/ABC and the cast and crew of ‘General Hospital’ for embracing her for 16 years. I want to thank the Academy for acknowledging her contribution and craft.
“Sonya never aspired to be an actor, and when while her talent was undeniable, I’m sure that she is more overjoyed by being remembered for how she made people feel on-screen and off. Thank you.”
According to TMZ, the family claims they were never told beforehand that Eddy would win the Emmy posthumously and that Ford allegedly told them he plans on keeping the trophy. In fact, the outlet notes the family is “pissed it wasn’t given to them in the first place.”
Currently, the family is waiting to hear back from the Television Academy, per TMZ, which incorrectly labeled the governing body behind the Daytime Emmys in its report – NATAS oversees the Daytime Emmys while the Television Academy handles the Primetime Emmys.
Citing Sonya’s younger brother, Robbie Eddy, who says the family isn’t looking to take legal action against Tyler or the Academy because they wouldn’t want to tarnish Sonya’s memory with a lawsuit. Still, they at least hope Ford does the “right thing” by handing over the Emmy to the family, particularly their 84-year-old mother, who allegedly “sponsored Sonya’s Hollywood career.”
One caveat to all of this is that Sonya Eddy was alleged to have been estranged from some of her family members before she died, including not “getting along with her brother because they were fighting over who was going to provide and care for their mom, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia.”
Despite all of that, Robbie says they were working on repairing their relationship before his sister’s death.
Circling back on the family indicating they were not informed beforehand of Eddy’s win, to be clear, that’s because award winners are unknown to the public, including those in attendance, until the award is presented during the ceremony. For the Daytime Emmy Awards, more than 1,000 peer professionals from across the television industry took part as judges, with confidential ballots tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Lutz & Carr, LLP.