#EmmysSoWhite? Record-Setting Slate of Diverse Nominees Leave Empty Handedby Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., NNPA Newswire Contributor September 24, 2018
The 70thPrimetime Emmy Awards ceremony kicked off with a stinging opening actby Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che indicting the Hollywood film and television industry for sexual harassment, racial exclusion and gender inequity. The skit featured a musical number with their SNLcolleagues Keenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon singing a song entitled, “We Solved It,” which poked fun at Hollywood’s self-congratulatory cockiness about ending Hollywood’s diversity problem.
Kristen Bell and Titus Burgess followed up with a ditty presumably referencing Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K. with jabs about Arizona spas and television comebacks, although they failed to actually name the culprits.
Sterling Brown performed a song mocking how Hollywood defines diversity in the first place. Sandra Oh, the first Asian woman nominated for a best lead actress in a drama series, addressed the incredulousness of this “honor” by saying it was an honor to be Asian. RuPaul was even in the mix.
Although this year marked the Emmy awards’ most diverse slate of nominees(38 nominations) in the history of the awards show, the outcome was not reflective of the diversity highlighted in the nominations.
Actress/producer/director Regina King won outstanding lead actress in a limited series for her role in Seven Secondson Netflix. The critically-acclaimed show about the death of a 15-year-old boy and a police cover-up was unceremoniously canceled in April after only one season. Netflixtweeted, “REGINA KING DESERVES THE WORLD,” and was subsequently trolledby Twitter for their obvious short-term memory.
Other than King, Thandi Newton won best supporting actress in a drama for her role in HBO’s Westworldand Darren Criss won for best actor in a limited series for his role in FX‘s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, rounding out the winners of color.
It should be noted last week Tiffany Haddish (“SNL”), Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”),Samira Wiley (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Katt Williams (“Atlanta”) won Emmys for guest appearances on these respective shows.
Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. is entertainment and culture editor for NNPA/BlackPressUSA. She is founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning news blog The Burton Wire, which covers news of the African diaspora. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectualor @TheBurtonWire.