Emmy Awards 2018: Why everyone’s talking about this surprise on-stage proposal

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Moya Crockett
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“The #Emmys proposal is the best thing to happen in an awards show ever.”

The general consensus seems to be that the 2018 Emmys were a little dull. At the start of the TV broadcast, the ceremony highlighted the diversity of the people nominated for awards – before handing out trophy after trophy after trophy to white actors, directors, producers and writers. Hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost largely steered clear of discussing politics and the #MeToo movement, and the dominance of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel in the comedy awards began to feel repetitive. All in all, it wasn’t the most exciting Emmys ever.

Thank heavens, then, for director and producer Glenn Weiss, who decided to shake things up by proposing to his long-term girlfriend on stage at the awards ceremony. Weiss had won the award for best directing of a variety special for his work directing the 2018 Academy Awards (yep, in Hollywood you can win awards for directing awards shows).

During his acceptance speech, Weiss said that while he was “grateful” to be on stage, the moment was “bittersweet” as his mother died two weeks ago.

“Part of my heart is broken, I don’t think it will ever be repaired, but she’s in me and she always will be,” he said.

So far, so poignant. But Weiss then delivered a curveball that made the entire room erupt. “Mum always believed in finding the sunshine in things, and she adored my girlfriend Jan.

“Jan, you are the sunshine in my life, and Mum was right – don’t ever let go of your sunshine.

“You wonder why I don’t like to call you my girlfriend – because I want to call you my wife.”

Weiss’ girlfriend Jan Svendsen then joined him onstage, where he got down on one knee and proposed formally. And she said yes!

Glenn Weiss and Jan Svendsen after his on-stage proposal 

The moment prompted Claire Foy to well up, while Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones posted a video on Twitter praising the proposal.

“First of all, the man that’s gonna be with me is gonna propose to me at the Emmys,” Jones joked. “And if you don’t do that, you ain’t serious about our love.”

Others viewers also praised the proposal. 

Actor Matthew Rhys referenced the proposal later in the show as he accepted the trophy for best lead actor in a drama (for his role in The Americans).

Before he took to the stage, Rhys joked that his girlfriend, co-star and fellow nominee Keri Russell had told him: “If you propose to me, I will punch you clean in the mouth.”

That, of course, is fair – public proposals aren’t for everyone. But we’re very, very glad that Jan was a fan.

Images: Getty Images 


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Moya Crockett

Moya is a freelance journalist and writer from London, and a former editor at Stylist.