The U.S. television academy is facing uncomfortable questions about its procedures after Ellen Burstyn was nominated for a best supporting actress Emmy for a 14-second performance.
Burstyn appeared briefly in the HBO movie “Mrs. Harris,” playing a former lover in a flashback scene reminiscing about Scarsdale diet doctor Herman Tarnower, who was killed by his long-time lover.
She spoke two lines, totaling 38 words, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which measured her on-screen time.
Burstyn is competing against three other actresses: Kelly Macdonald, Shirley Jones and Cloris Leachman.
“Based on the popular vote, this is a legitimate nomination,” said Pam Ruben Golum, spokeswoman for the television academy.
There’s no rule setting a minimum participation requirement for award consideration, but the TV academy is willing to consider one for next year, she said.