Will Jessica Walter (‘Arrested Development’) get an Emmy boost from controversial NY Times interview?

Arrested Development” returned for the first half of its fifth season on Netflix on May 29, five years after the streaming service brought the former FOX comedy back from the dead in 2013. That would be news enough, but the show made headlines in less favorable ways when on May 23 the New York Times published what turned out to be a contentious interview with the cast. It’s possible that could have a negative impact on the show’s Emmy chances, but it could actually help co-star Jessica Walter.

The cast and crew of “Arrested” faced a PR minefield due to the involvement of Jeffrey Tambor, who had been fired from Amazon’s “Transparent” following allegations of sexual harassment. But his behavior on the “Arrested” set also became a topic of discussion after the revelation that Tambor had verbally harassed his co-star Walter. His male colleagues defended Tambor to the NY Times even after Walter explained that it was some of the worst treatment of her professional career.

The backlash against the “Arrested” men was swift, but it could prompt Hollywood to rally behind Walter when it comes time to vote for this year’s Emmy nominations. Walter is a past Emmy winner for Best Limited Series Actress for “Amy Prentiss” (1975), but perhaps surprisingly she only ever earned one nom for “Arrested Development”: Best Comedy Supporting Actress in 2005.

We’ve polled 16 Expert journalists from top media outlets thus far. Nine of them have updated their Emmy forecasts just since May 29, and four of those are currently betting on a nomination for Walter: Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby) and Robert Rorke (New York Post). When the predictions of all 1,900+ Gold Derby users are combined that puts Walter on the bubble for a nom in eighth place with 33/1 odds.

But Walter could rise higher given another recent TV controversy: the abrupt cancellation of “Roseanne” following a racist tweet by star Roseanne Barr. That could blow back on Comedy Supporting Actress contender Laurie Metcalf, who had been on a hot streak following her Tony win for “A Doll’s House, Part 2” in 2017, her Oscar nomination for “Lady Bird” earlier this year, and her current Tony nomination for “Three Tall Women.”

Do you think the television academy will lend Walter their support following this controversy?

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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