#EmmysSoWhite trends after white actors won all the major acting awards despite 44% of historical nominees being artists of color.
During the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, #EmmysSoWhite trended on Twitter after only white actors received major actor awards, excluding nearly half of the nominees, of which 44% historically were artists of color. The popularized hashtag gained momentum online after the creation of #OscarsSoWhite in 2015. Invented by activist and media strategist April Reign, #OscarsSoWhite sought to criticize the lack of inclusive representation in Hollywood, especially during nominations for the 87e The Oscars have been released. Since then, variations of the hashtag, including #EmmysSoWhite, have surfaced on social media to address the continuing erasure of artists from the global majority.
A year after its inception, #OscarsSoWhite was all the rage again in 2016, sparking a wider conversation around how actors of color have been overlooked despite their significant contributions to film and television. In response, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement pledging to diversify membership at the Oscars. However, long-term changes within the entertainment industry have been noticeably slow. Just a few months ago, the 2021 Golden Globes also received a backlash after the Hollywood Foreign Press snubbed a slew of critically acclaimed projects created by and featuring black artists. A new study released in March found that Hollywood continues to lose $ 10 billion each year due to its refusal to invest in black-led projects. Meanwhile, more and more artists shared their experiences with racism and discrimination.
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As reported by THR, white actors have won all 12 major and minor categories at the Emmys. The casts of Ted lasso and The crown has swept many nominations, including lead actor in a comedy series for Jason Sudeikis and lead actor in a drama series for Josh OConnor. Hacks star Jean Smart, a favorite for the lead actress, also notched an expected victory. While many critics hoped the late Michael K. Williams would win a supporting actor for his powerful performance on HBO Lovecraft Country, Tobias Menzies from The crown won the prize.
When it comes to acting awards, the Emmy snobs continued all night. MJ Rodriguez, the first transgender performer to receive a nomination for her famous work in Pose, also lost against The crown. Once again, the royal series seemed to be a favorite among Emmy voters, taking the lead in most categories of actor and keeping Billy Porter’s historic victories from Pose and Sterling K. Brown of It’s us. Other acting stops include Michaela Coels I can destroy you, a much-loved limited series that forcefully explored the searing consequences of sexual assault. While Coel received an award for writing, she lost the lead actress in a limited series to Kate Winslet. Once on stage, Coel was one of only three actors of color to win and deliver a speech.
Considering the rich variety of stories that have hit the screen this year, it remains a travesty that the Hollywood industry repeatedly fails to recognize the works of color creatives. The resurgence of #EmmysSoWhite proves that whitewashing continues to exert a toxic hold on the industry. A whole tapestry of dynamic and innovative films and televisions have taken hold of Hollywood this year, offering new and thoughtful ways to dig into the human psyche. However, just like the plot of The crown, the Emmys has chosen to fall back on a stilted and heavy tradition, ignoring the voices that have fearlessly reshaped the media landscape.
More: Why Are Whitewashed Films Usually Bad?
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About the Author
Michelle mehrtens (100 articles published)
Michelle Mehrtens is a news writer for Screen Rant. She recently received an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University. She is also the founder of Meesh Says Things, a website dedicated to film and television.
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