Emmys showcase historic wins for Black actors

Emmys showcase historic wins for Black actors


  • Black actors snagged nine out of 18 acting awards at the 2020 Emmys.
  • Black performers racked up 33.33% of the six writing categories and 14 percent of the seven directing categories.
  • The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards showcased an unprecedented number of Emmy nominations for Black performers this year.

Black performers celebrated a historic year at the 2020 Emmys as they snagged nine out of the 18 acting awards at the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

This is a long way from having zero wins in the acting categories in 2013 and snagging only 11.11% of acting awards last year.

Zendaya also made a historic lead drama actress win for HBO’s “Euphoria.” She was the second Black woman to win in that category, following Viola Davis’ 2015 win for “How To Get Away With Murder.”

Ron Cephas Jones and Jasmine Cephas Jones also became the first parent-child duo to win an Emmy during the same ceremony. It was the second Emmy for Jones for NBC’s “This Is Us” (in the guest drama actor category) while his daughter won in the short-form comedy or drama category for Quibi’s “#FreeRayShawn.” They received their awards on Saturday, the final night of the Creative Arts ceremonies.

Anthony Anderson made a personal appearance and gave a lengthy rant about how it could have been “the Blackest Emmys ever.”

“We would have had speeches quoting our great poets like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Cardi B,” he jested.

But instead “of that sexy melanated energy,” he added, “here I am alone in a sterilized green room trying not to sneeze.”

“This isn’t what it should have been,” Anderson concluded. “But I’m still rooting for everybody Black because Black stories, Black performances, and Black lives matter.”

Rashad Robinson, Color of Change president, previously told Variety that the recognition of Black performers should not be discounted, but that it’s important to recognize that the Black community’s presence should not be mistaken for power.

“Power is the ability to change the rules,” he explained. “Presence is not bad, but when we mistake presence for power, we can sometimes think something has happened that hasn’t actually happened.”

He believed that having a “dismal representation” on the big screen and awards shows “illustrates a supremacy in terms of who’s in charge, what is normal and what is additive.”

He said that it somehow dictates “who is mainstream and who is [on the] margins — who is inside and who needs to be let in.”

Black performers had racked up an unprecedented number of Emmy nominations this year. They proceeded to win 33.33% of the six writing categories and 14 percent of the seven directing categories.


Source: NBC News

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