“Reparations Emmys” Actually Had Very Little Diversity Among Winners

Last night at the 70th annual Emmy Awards the theme was diversity as hosts Michael Che and Chris Jost of Saturday Night Live fame slung the jokes and poked fun at Hollywood tradition and decorum. However, at the end of the night, only two Black actors won the coveted Emmy Award; Regina King and Thandie Newton.  

The rest of the winners were white, with strong representation among white women. The imagery reminds me of how the fight for diversity in the film and television industry has always been about balance. The act of trying to balance different viewpoints and creative styles amid products with more mainstream sensibility has us all reacting to the ebb and flow on a yearly basis, with the hope that the present is better than the past, and that the future would be better than the present. 

Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson & TV Stars Perform “We Solved It” at the 70th Emmy Awards (Highlight)

Kristen Bell, Sterling K. Brown, Aidy Bryant, Tituss Burgess, RuPaul, John Legend, Ricky Martin, Kate McKinnon, Sandra Oh, Andy Samberg, Kenan Thompson, Milo Ventimiglia and more perform “We Solved It.”

Though it may have seemed diverse on its face, that was not the case during the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards last night.

As was to be expected, Game of Thrones won the most awards with nine, but Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel shocked and awed observers by winning eight Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing. Sounds like a great show, but I’ll have to take their word for it. 

Never watched it, and don’t know anyone who has.

The 2018 Emmys Are Rooting For Everybody Black

The nominations for the 2018 Emmy Awards are in and people are already picking over them with a fine-toothed comb. There were some shows that were so well done that it was expected they would dominate this nomination celebration.

Regina King won her third Emmy Award by winning in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her portrayal of Latrice Butler in Netflix’s Seven Seconds. As the mother of a black boy who was killed by the police, the passion, and humanity King portrayed were so intense that it drowned out great performances from her cast mates.

Thandie Newton Emmy Awards 2018 | Thanks God | Westworld | Maeve Millay

She calls God ‘Her’ during her Emmy Awards speech Drops F bomb she’s so excited to win. 70th Emmy Awards: Thandie Newton Wins For Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series. Westworld (TV Series) Maeve Millay.

Thandie Newton won the Emmy for best-supporting actress in a dramatic series with her role in “Westworld” as Maeve Millay; a life-like automaton who is designed as part of a theme park with trappings of the old west. Through her “malfunction” she becomes self-aware and becomes part of a rebellion meant to cause confusion so that she may try to escape. Newton wows as the manipulating, deadly and otherwise thoroughly pissed off Maeve.

Like Keenan Thompson said during the hilarious “We Solved It” song and dance routine, It is perplexing but typical of Hollywood to prematurely toot its own horn. And on a show heavy on diverse imagery and idealism, only two actors of color won, while RuPaul’s Drag Race got an award for best reality TV/competition.

Is that diversity? No. Not at all. However, it is my hope that the pendulum will swing much further in the direction of real inclusiveness in the future rather than toward superficial reactionism.