Emmys sends positive message through increased diversity
By MICHELLE HUANG
Waithe for it…
The Emmys awards show, held on Sunday, Sept. 19, was the most diverse event in the history of awards shows, featuring appearances from Lena Waithe, Riz Ahmed, Kate McKinnon and Sean Spicer.
A surprisingly large percentage of winners at the event represented various backgrounds, races, creeds, and abilities, compared to past years’ awards shows. These nominations and wins set records, proof that there is hope for future awards ceremonies to showcase an increasing amount of diversity among winners. Due to its diversity, the 2017 Emmys awards show was the most popular Emmys show in decades.
Unexpectedly, a number of the winners this year, such as Sterling K. Brown and Aziz Ansari, were of minority groups. Although no Latinos won this year, many were nominated for the show. This representation not only brought a sense of pride to fellow citizens of their race, but also to the general public because of the rising percentage of representation in awards shows like the Emmys.
Despite racial diversity being the main focus of the show, two other important forms of representation were exhibited: gender and sexuality.
Among the winners, one of the most diverse people was Lena Waithe. At the show, Waithe won “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.” As an African-American LGBTQ woman, Waithe’s win was a victory for many people of minority groups in the audience. After winning her award, Waithe delivered a moving speech highlighting the importance of her diversity. She included a shout-out not only to fellow LGBTQ members, but also to everyone in the audience, regardless of race, gender or sexuality. In her speech, Waithe emphasized that “the things that make us different, those are our superpowers.”
Additionally, this year’s Emmys was filled with politics, especially when it featured political comedic sketches on SNL.
Emmys judges were most likely heavily influenced by the politically-involved era of Donald Trump’s presidency, which led to the popularity of SNL during the night.
In fact, SNL was so popular that it won 9 Emmys, including a “Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series” award for Alec Baldwin, who played Donald Trump, and a “Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” award for Kate McKinnon, who portrayed Hillary Clinton in a political skit.
Looking forward, the diversity showcased during the 69th Primetime Emmys Awards show will hopefully spark a fuel for future awards events and lead to more representative groups of winners.