Emmys 2021: Despite diverse nominations, no major acting awards won by people of colour this year
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Emmys 2021: Despite diverse nominations, no major acting awards won by people of colour this year

The 73rd edition of the awards was held in Los Angeles on Monday.

Shilpa S
Sep 20, 2021
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The 73rd edition of the Emmys, held at Los Angeles on Monday, only half-heartedly honoured its diversity pledge. While the nominations across six major acting categories included many non-white actors, none of them were awarded any wins.

The late Michael K Williams (Lovecraft Country), Billy Porter and Mj Rodriguez (Pose), and Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live) were in the nominee line-up.

The results of the awards show has led to backlash online with social media users trending the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite and accusing the Television Academy of “snubbing” BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of colour) talent.

Rodriguez could also have been the first transgender performer to have won the lead acting category, observes The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet adds that this edition could have been the year of many firsts like a first Chinese American or first non-binary performer for supporting actor in a comedy; and even first women of colour winning comedy supporting actress award.

However, the ceremony did witness some celebration of PoC (persons of colour) talent. RuPaul, host of Drag Race, became the most-awarded Black entertainer in the awards show history.

I May Destroy You’s Michaela Coel also won an award as a writer for the HBO Max limited series, becoming the first black woman to win in the Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series category.

The Emmys Governors Award this year was given to dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, director and producer Debbie Allen, who, in her speech, shed light on the struggle of being a woman in entertainment, but also inspired young people to “claim their power.” Allen has worked on several philanthropic projects to help marginalised youth.

Previous recipients of this honour have been Tyler Perry, Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, Bob Lewis among others.

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