the emmys

This Year’s Emmys Included a Historic Number of Black Nominees

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The Emmy nominations were announced today, and the voting body made the largely unprecedented move of recognizing the work of nonwhite actors, producers, and directors. Led by Watchman — the most nominated show of the year, with 26 nods — this year’s Emmys included a record number of Black nominees.

Black actresses dominated the category for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie, with Regina King (Watchmen), Octavia Spencer (Self Made), and Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere) all securing nominations. Issa Rae earned her second lead-actress nomination for Insecure, which also got a nod in the Outstanding Comedy Series category and a supporting-actress nomination for Yvonne Orji (her first, and a long time coming). Zendaya also got her first Emmy nomination for Euphoria. 

The Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category was also dominated by Black actors: Mahershala Ali (Ramy), Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), William Jackson Harper (The Good Place), Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and Sterling K. Brown (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), who got a second nomination in a lead-actor category for This Is Us.

There were some snubs, though, including many of the trans women who make up the cast of Pose: Angelica Ross, Indya Moore, MJ Rodriguez, Hailie Sahar, and Dominique Jackson were all overlooked, while Billy Porter was awarded his second nomination for the show. There was also nothing for the largely South Asian cast of Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever.

Essence published a full list of Black actors nominated for Emmys this year, which will take place, virtually, in September 2020. Now, we just have to wait and see who actually gets the awards.

This Year’s Emmys Included a Record Number of Black Nominees