2016 Emmys are proof that TV is getting more diverse video

One News

While the Oscars were slammed for being 'so white', the Emmys delivered diversity and colour.

When the Emmy nominations were announced in July, it was clear that this year's ceremony would be a far cry from #OscarsSoWhite - all six major acting categories included nominees of colour.

The winners at Sunday's ceremony also reflected the TV industry's embracing of racial diversity.

Master of None creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang won the best comedy writing award for Parents, a standout episode that explored the experience of being a child of immigrant parents.

Actor Rami Malek from the USA Network series Mr. Robot.
LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Actor Rami Malek from the USA Network series Mr. Robot.

In his acceptance speech, Yang called out Hollywood for one-dimensional Asian characters such as the infamous Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles.

READ MORE:
Emmy Awards 2016: Best dressed at the Emmys

Emmys: 10 shocks and snubs from this year's nominations
Why the Emmys are now bigger than the Oscars
Emmys: Amy Schumer's red carpet comeback
Recap: The 2016 Emmy Awards

2016 Emmy Awards: The big winners of the night
2016 Emmy Awards: Nine things you might have missed

 
TV personality Padma Lakshmi at the Emmys.
Jeff Kravitz

TV personality Padma Lakshmi at the Emmys.

"There's 17 million Asian Americans in this country and there's 17 million Italian Americans. They have The GodfatherGoodfellasRocky and The Sopranos,'" Yang said. "We got Long Duk Dong. So we got a long way to go, but I know we can get there. I believe in us. It's just going to take a lot of hard work."

The pair was played off the stage before Ansari had a chance to address the audience, but he was able to thank his parents (who also starred in Master of None as his character's parents) while presenting an award later in the show. "They inspired that episode," said Ansari, who made history this year as the first South Asian actor to be nominated for a leading role.

Ansari lost the award for best actor in a comedy series to Jeffrey Tambor, who plays transgender woman Maura Pfefferman on Amazon's Transparent. "I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a transgender character on television," Tambor said, referencing a criticism of the show and other Hollywood efforts that cast cisgender actors as transgender characters.

Actors John Travolta poses with the award for  Outstanding Limited Series for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime ...
MARIO ANZUONI

Actors John Travolta poses with the award for Outstanding Limited Series for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (L) and actor Sterling K. Brown with his award for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie.

Transparent creator Jill Soloway, won her second consecutive directing award for the Amazon dramedy. "Thank you to the transgender community for your lived lives," she said.

Ad Feedback

FX's critically acclaimed miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was up for a whopping 22 nominations, and two awards - best lead actor and best supporting actor - went to Courtney B. Vance and Sterling K. Brown, who are both African American. Brown will be seen next in NBC's This Is Us, which premieres Tuesday.

Regina King, who is also African American, won her second consecutive Emmy Award for her performance in the ABC anthology series American Crime, which has deftly tackled race and other social issues in its two seasons. "I am so proud of this show, so proud to be a part of this show - to have the opportunity to tell stories that provoke necessary conversations," King told the audience.

Regina King poses backstage with her award for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie for American ...
MARIO ANZUONI

Regina King poses backstage with her award for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie for American Crime at the Emmys.

Key and Peele duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele took home the award for best sketch variety show. Damon Wayans, who helped break ground as a performer and co-creator of the '90s sketch comedy show In Living Colour, presented the award.

Egyptian American actor Rami Malek won outstanding lead actor in the drama category for his role as Elliot Alderson on USA's Mr. Robot. He thanked creator Sam Esmail, who is also Egyptian, calling him "a pure visionary." Fusion pointed out that Malek is the first non-white actor to win best actor in the drama category since Andre Braugher in 1998.

"For me to stand here as not the typical leading man, and to have come home with this I think speaks a lot about where we're headed," Malek later told reporters backstage, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Actress Kerry Washington from the ABC series "Scandal" arrives at the Emmys.
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Actress Kerry Washington from the ABC series "Scandal" arrives at the Emmys.

"And I think we can just keep going further in that direction - obviously not just limited to entertainment, but socially and politically to continue and strive to be as progressive as possible."

Still, the Emmy nominations, like diversity on television, are a work in progress. Critics have noted the lack of Latino nominees in recent years, and the Guardian noted that only two Latino actors were nominated (none in any major category) this year.

The new shows on the fall TV schedule reflect increasing diversity on the small screen. Donald Glover's well-received FX dramedy Atlanta, which premiered September 6, has already proven a success for FX, earning the highest number of premiere viewers for a basic cable comedy since Inside Amy Schumer in 2013. Issa Rae's highly anticipated comedy Insecure will premiere on HBO next month.

 - The Washington Post

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback