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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023
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Emmy’s Not So White

The 69th Emmy Awards embraced diversity through a series of wins for people of color. The Emmy Awards honored the best in U.S. prime time television programming from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017 and aired on Sept. 17, 2017.

Donald Glover received two awards for his FX series, Atlanta. The actor, musician and director won Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, becoming the first black person to do so. He also won the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, which has not been done by a person of color since 1985.

Although Glover is breaking down barriers, he was not the only black man recognized that night.

Sterling K. Brown won Lead Actor in a Drama, making him the first black actor to win this award since Andre Braugher.

“Nineteen years ago. Detective Frank Pembleton held this joint as impeccably played by Andre Braugher, I just want to say Mr. Braugher whether it is at Stanford University or on this Emmy stage it is my supreme honor to follow in your footsteps,” Brown said.

These momentous wins continued through the award show as if it were a theme. Lena Waithe became the first African American woman to win Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series.

“Last but certainly not least my LGBTQIA family, I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different those are our superpowers everyday, when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it,” she said. “Thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the southside of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.”

The Emmys did not stop there though. Riz Ahmed won Outstanding Lead Actor in Limited Series or Movie becoming the first Muslim and South Asian winner to win an acting Emmy.

“It is always strange reaping the rewards of a story that is based on real world suffering,” Ahmed said.  “But if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our societies, and phobias, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that is something.”

This past Oscar’s Award Show began conversation in the entertainment world around the topic of diversity, and the Emmy’s picked up where they left off.

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