There were a lot of first at this year’s Emmy Awards which recognizes great achievements in the art of television. Despite questionable diversity actions in the film world, television has actually seen quite a bit of diverse expansion over the past few years. For this award show, the “Emmy voters embraced a record number of performers from diverse backgrounds with 27 acting nominations” leading into the event. While there were several “firsts” and a few “long time since” awards given, here are a few bullet points of some of the big wins for diversity;
- Sterling K. Brown (The People vs OJ Simpson) became the first black performer in close to 20 years to win lead actor in a drama, the last being Andre Braugher in 1998 for his role in Homicide: Life on the Street
- Riz Ahmed became the first Asian man to win an Emmy for his lead acting turn on the limited series The Night Of from HBO. He is the second Asian performer ever to do so, following after The Good Wife‘s Archie Panjabi, who won supporting actress drama seven years ago.
- Donald Glover became the first black person to win an Emmy for directing for a comedy. He also nabbed a second trophy tonight for lead comedy actor.
- Lena Waithe, who with series lead Aziz Ansari co-wrote Master of None‘s “Thanksgiving” episode (which she also co-starred in), made Emmy history as the first black woman to win for comedy writing. Beat that, Oscars.
An amazing night for sure, and hopefully these wins are an indication for the opportunities arising at the forefront for diverse artists and entertainers.