'To be an openly gay black man nominated for a leading actor drama Emmy Award - it just didn’t happen': How the Emmys are leading the way with inclusivity

Yaaaas!

17 Jul 2019

The Emmy nominations for 2019 are officially in - and is it just us or did awards season just get inclusive? In comparison to other awards, this year’s Emmy nominations are jam-packed with some of the most progressive TV shows to ever grace our screens, and we are HERE for it.

From powerful female leads to the ultimate celebration of the transgender community, there’s never been a better reflection of the changing times we’re living in.

The standout nomination is Pose, Ryan Murphy’s boundary-breaking drama that’s swept up an Outstanding Drama Series nomination. The series delves deep into the misunderstood lives of queer and trans people during the ‘80s, exploring necessary conversations about the reality of racism, sexism and transphobia.

What once may have been regarded as controversial territory is being globally recognised as an important, timely and all-round brilliant show. Yaaas!

The show’s lead actor Billy Porter has also been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor. The first-time nominee of colour took to Instagram to celebrate this milestone moment for gay, black men. “I am so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. There was no context for this before....to be an openly gay black man nominated for a leading actor drama #EmmyAward - it just didn’t happen. And now, I’m living truth that it can be possible,” he wrote in the heartfelt post. “And then it goes much deeper. It’s about representation. It’s about all people’s stories being told.”

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Thank you. All of you. My phones been buzzin’ off the hook. I am so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. There was no context for this before....to be an openly gay black man nominated for a leading actor drama #EmmyAward - it just didn’t happen. And now, I’m living truth that it can be possible. It’s incredible to be recognized for the work. And then it goes much deeper. It’s about representation. It’s about all people’s stories being told. It’s about the art. We creative people have the power to transform hearts and minds doing the work that we do and I am just thrilled to be able to do that. I have to thank @fxnetworks, @mrrpmurphy, @svcanals, @bradfalchuk, @janetmock, @ourladyj — everybody involved in the show and those who have taught me how to dream the impossible. We are here and we ain’t going anywhere. The sky is the limit now, honey! Thank you @televisionacad. See ya’ll in September! Check out Emmy Nominee for Outstanding Drama Series @poseonfx TONIGHT at 10:00PM / 9c only on @fxnetworks. #emmyawards2019 #emmyawards

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Fellow TV buffs will also be thrilled to see two of TV’s most adored women and certified GLAMOUR girl crushes, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jodie Comer, have been recognised for their unbelievably epic performances in Fleabag and Killing Eve. Years ago, female-led shows didn’t exist or were overlooked but in 2019, they are taking centre stage.

Another powerful female rising through the ranks is Joey King. The 19-year-old lead actress of Hulu’s The Act posted a video to Instagram of her bursting into tears on discovering she had been nominated as lead actor in a limited series. “To be nominated for an Emmy in a category with such INCREDIBLE nominees by my side, especially Patricia is the most surreal feeling,” she captioned the video. “I haven’t stopped crying.”

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This is me in South Africa on my way to set in the car live steaming The Emmy nominations announcement from the hotspot on my phone also known as the best moment in the world. My work on The Act was the most fulfilling and challenging work I’ve gotten to do as an actress thus far. To be nominated for an Emmy in a category with such INCREDIBLE nominees by my side, especially Patricia is the most surreal feeling. I haven’t stopped crying. Gettin to call Patricia right after and share this moment with her is something I’ll never forget. Thank you to everyone who made this possible, there’s so many people who are behind The Act that I couldn’t have done this without and I can’t wait to call all of them!!!! OH MY GOD I CANT BELIEVE IM NOMINATED FOR AN EMMY

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However, that’s not to say we don’t have a long way to go, namely the fact that women of colour were unanimously shut out of all comedy categories with not a single nomination in the lead and supporting comedy actress categories, highlighting the gender and race bias in comedy.

There’s no denying diversity in entertainment is a work in progress, but we’re also all about celebrating the small victories. And this is absolutely one of them.