Two years ago, the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite began trending when the Television Academy failed to award any major acting trophies to people of color. The pendulum has swung, with this year’s ceremony awarding a record-breaking number of people of color across all major categories: drama, comedy, limited, reality and variety series — a first in the TV Academy’s history.
That said, there were some stark reminders of historical shortcomings throughout the evening, such as a “Martin” cast reunion. The beloved show failed to score a single Emmy nod during its five-season run.
One year after making history as the second Black woman to win for comedy writing, Quinta Brunson took the stage again for her performance as the lovable teacher Janine Teagues in “Abbott Elementary.” She became the second Black woman to win the category, following Isabel Sanford for “The Jeffersons” in 1981.
Ayo Edebiri was part of the historic night for FX’s “The Bear,” winning the supporting comedy actress honor for her turn as young chef Sydney Adamu. She’s the third Black woman to take home the trophy, after Jackée Harry for “227” in 1987 and fellow nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph for “Abbott Elementary” in 2022. Along with fellow nominees Jessica Williams (“Shrinking”), Janelle James, and Ralph, it was the most Black women ever nominated in the category. It’s noteworthy that Edebiri will campaign for lead comedy actress for season 2, which has already resulted in wins from the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.
After four career Emmy noms, Niecy Nash-Betts took home a statuette for supporting actress (limited) as Glenda Cleveland in Netflix’s “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”
RuPaul, the host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” extended his record as the most-awarded host and Black person in history. The veteran performer won outstanding reality competition program and host during the Creative Arts.
“Beef” creator Lee Sung-jun pulled a hat trick, taking home three Emmys for outstanding limited series, directing and writing. He’s the first Asian to win all three in the same year and the first in the directing and writing categories. His two series leads — Steven Yeun and Ali Wong — also took home lead acting Emmys for their performances in Netflix’s dark comedy, the first Asian winners in each category.
This also marks the first time that two Asian performers from any major awards ceremony won lead acting prizes on the same night. This happened nearly a year after the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” swept the Oscars and gave stars Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, along with co-director Daniel Kwan, statuettes.
Trevor Noah ended his tenure as host of “The Daily Show” on a high note, becoming the first Black person to win outstanding talk series, ending John Oliver’s long run.
GLAAD was awarded the TV Academy’s Governors Award, a historic moment for the LGBTQ community. To cap it off, Elton John became the newest member of the EGOT club.
The previously-announced Creative Arts Emmys added to the evening’s diverse wins, with guest acting winners Sam Richardson taking comedy actor for “Ted Lasso” and Storm Reid winning drama actress for “The Last of Us.”
That said, not all favored nominees ended up with wins. Pedro Pascal became the first Latino to score three noms in the same year, with none translating to a win. To date, only seven Latinos have won acting Emmys across all categories – America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”), Albert Paulsen (“Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre”), Edward James Olmos (“Miami Vice”), Jimmy Smits (“L.A. Law”), Rita Moreno (“The Rockford Files”) and Ricardo Montalbán (“How the West Was Won”).