Helen Gilbert


In 2004, the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences ruled that Bam Bam, an orangutan starring as a hospital nurse in the long-running sitcom Passions, could not be nominated for an Emmy Award on the grounds that ‘a line of distinction’ had to be drawn ‘between animal characters that aren’t capable of speaking parts and human actors whose personal interpretation in character portrayal creates nuance and audience engagement’ (Anon 2008 [my emphasis]).



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