Arts and Entertainment

Emmy Awards 2020: An Increase in Diversity

By Adeline Bunje ’23, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The 72nd Emmy Awards last month set a record for the number of nominations for people of color in the television industry.

By comparison, there were only 24 nominations for people of color last year, a very small portion of the total number of nominations. This year, however, there were over 40 acting nominations for people of color. Many of these nominees won an Emmy, including Eddie Murphy for outstanding guest actor on Saturday Night Live, Ron Cephas Jones for outstanding guest actor on This is Us, RuPaul for competition host on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Regina King for outstanding lead actress on Watchmen, and Zendaya, becoming the youngest woman to ever win best actress for a drama series, for Euphoria

Black representation in the awards show has definitely improved since the Black Lives Matter movement. However, even though there are more people of color on the screen, there are still not many working behind the scenes. According to the annual Diversity Report, people of color only make up 14.4 percent of directors, 13.9 percent of screenwriters, and 9 percent of studio heads. The Emmys also still lack Asian and Latino representation, which were only about 1-2 percent of the nominations this year.  In light of the recent racial equality movements, the Emmys showed an increase in diversity within the nominees and winners, but will this continue into next year’s show? Or will this strengthening towards equality in awards shows be another form of performative activism? 

Caption: Zendaya, 24, made Emmy history by becoming the youngest person ever to win the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. (Credit: Invision for the Television Academy)

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