Monday, September 10, 2018

Diversity a winner at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards

I finished 'The Americans' wins Program of the Year plus other winning shows about politics and government at the 2018 Television Critics Association Awards by forecasting my intentions for today.
I'll either return to the non-fiction winners at the Emmy Awards or tackle either the Hugo Award winners or the Teen Choice Award winners tomorrow.  Stay tuned to see if I prefer reality or fantasy.
I decided to do neither.  Instead, I am updating the continuing story of increasing diversity and representation among Emmy acting and hosting nominees that I began two years ago in Emmy nominations for acting showcase diversity when there were 22 nominees of color and continued in last year's "Fear the Walking Dead: Passage" contributes to diversity at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards when the number increased to 26 (or 27 according to Deadline Hollywood).  This year set another record with 36 acting nominees of color, 38 if one counts hosts of reality television shows.  Given six nominations each in 18 acting categories, that 108 slots (it's actually 112, as two categories have five nominees, while the supporting acting categories have seven and one this year has eight and another has six).  That's 32.1% of the acting nominees, 32.5% if one includes the reality TV hosts.  Either way, it's a new record and a sign that efforts to make television look like America and reward performances fairly are working.

Speaking of rewarding performances fairly working, ANI News Official on YouTube reported yesterday Emmys 2018: Black actors make history, sweep guest categories.

For the first time in Emmy history, all four guest star awards have been awarded to black actors. Tiffany Haddish, Ron Cephas Jones, Samira Wiley, and Katt Williams received the award on Sunday for their respective television guest star appearances. All four actors are first-time Emmy winners. Haddish was awarded for her work on 'Saturday Night Live', Williams received the gong for 'Atlanta', Jones received it for 'This Is Us' and Wiley was awarded for her performance in 'Handmaid's Tale'. The victories come as pleasant news amidst a larger push for diversity and inclusion in the television and film industry, both in front and behind the camera. While the black actors have earned awards in each of the guest categories before, this was the first instance when four African-American performers received the award in the same year. The Primetime Emmy Awards is scheduled to be held on September 17.
First, congratulations!  Second, time to check what I wrote about these categories in 'Saturday Night Live' leads Outstanding Variety Sketch Series nominations, again and 'Westworld,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Stranger Things,' and other speculative fiction nominees at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

For Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy, my prediction was "Bryan Cranston is probably the best actor of the bunch, but that doesn't mean he'll win.  Instead, I think the award will once again go to one of the guest hosts from SNL.  Which one?  Doesn't matter to me."  Wrong, but two of the guest hosts, Danny Glover and Lin-Manuel Miranda, would have qualified as diverse, and Glover is the star of "Atlanta," so I wasn't far off.

I was closer with my pick for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy, where I wrote "The speculative fiction fan in me wants this to go to Maya Rudolph, but I think it will between one of the hosts of SNL and Jane Lynch.  Yes, more 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.'"  Tiffany Haddish was a guest host of SNL, so I'll count this as a success.

I was all over the place while trying to predict Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama, but I think I managed to hit the target anyway.
Alexis Bledel won this award last year, but she has been promoted to a supporting role while Samira Wiley has been moved down to a guest role along with two other actresses in guest roles in "The Handmaid's Tale."  If the voting members of the Television Academy wish to honor "The Handmaid's Tale" again, I think they would pick Wiley.  However, they could split their vote and one of Davis, Rigg, or Tyson could receive the trophy instead.  I'd vote for Davis, but I'm not a member of the Television Academy; another split of their vote between Davis and Tyson could have Rigg sneak by.  They could do better, but they could do worse, too.
Samira Wiley was the first name I mentioned, which means it was my "first choice."  Another success!

On the other hand, I completely missed the mark with Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama.
The speculative fiction nominee here is Jimmi Simpson as a young William AKA The Man in Black in "Westworld."  I was expecting Anthony Hopkins, but I suspect his episodes were too late in the season to earn enough nominating votes.  That's not to take anything away from Simpson; he deserved the nomination.  His winning will likely be another matter, as Gerald McRaney won last year and is my choice for favorite.  Also, F. Murray Abraham is an Oscar winner.  That might count for something.
Right show, wrong actor.  A near miss, but a miss just the same.

As for the winner of the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program, I wrote "I'm rooting for RuPaul, whose shows make quite the social statement of acceptance and self-expression as well."  I got my wish, as RuPaul Charles won.  Here is RuPaul Charles wins 2018 Emmy for hosting 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' thanks Gold Derby backstage.

RuPaul Charles wins 2018 Emmy for hosting 'RuPaul's Drag Race.' Watch RuPaul chat with Gold Derby backstage in the press room.
Fabulous and hilarious!  Congratulations!

Stay tuned for more blogging about the Emmys.

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