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#EMMYSSOWHITE: No Black Actors Won In Major Acting Categories Despite Historic & Diverse Nominations

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Another year, same ish. White actors and actresses swept up all the acting awards during the 2021 Primetime EMMYs despite almost half of the nominees being people of color. Now, #EMMYSSOWHITE is trending....

When this year's Primetime EMMYs kicked off with host Cedric the Entertainer paying tribute to late Hip Hop pioneer Biz Markie, it surely gave off a vibe that it was the start of a bomb night for black actors and actresses. The 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards had a Black host, Black announcer (MC Lyte), and even Black music.

Yet, black actors and actresses were completely shut out of ALL of the major acting categories. What's more is the fact that performers of color comprised almost half (44%) of the acting nominations for this year's awards. And that's the first time in EMMYs history that many people of color were nominated in acting categories.

While the nominations were historic, the wins were NOT. White actors and actresses swept up all 12 lead AND supporting categories across drama, comedy and limited series categories. There were several Black solid contenders like the late Michael K. Williams ("Lovecraft Country"), Billy Porter and MJ Rodriguez ("POSE") and Kenan Thompson (NBC's "Kenan").

Clearly, the math ain't mathin' and folks had plenty to say about it:

"Power" producer 50 Cent also reacted (then deleted):

And so did Meet The Blacks director Deon Taylor



"All that talking this past year !! Everybody saying they want inclusion … but yet we see the same results over and over again… no increase in black show runners - same people in position , not allowing others to enter the space - no new faces , No breakouts , no new artist , writers or directors - !!," he wrote. "And this is the results … No wins !! Not even close - Been waiting for @blackishabc and @anthonyanderson and @traceeellisross to sweep the emmys in some form for 5 years - still nothing !! Insecure ?!! Nothing ?! But yet you build shows just like these that win year after year - and lord knows I’m speaking as a fan !! It’s tiring !!! And I don’t wanna hear , we need our own awards show !! Cause the amount of money we bring in - and the level of culture we deliver daily , needs to be rewarded on the big stage , with everyone else !! Feel like we have been lied to again …. Why can’t we get a fair shake “?! I’m asking … where are the black critics ? And do they really count ? If so - why dont we ever win?! We can’t win - “A category” ever ! God help us find unity and fairness! I love entertainment- and I absolutely love television and film !! I’ve given my life to it- but at some point - we need to see REAL CHANGE !!!! And I’m not talking about a invite !! Congratulations to the Queen @therealdebbieallen and #machella for you’re win this evening ! Hoping we can see more of this in the near future !! @televisionacad somebody please call me !! Would love to have a real conversation - that can help this problem… we have a group over here, waiting to have a real conversation that can help."

Last year, four creatives of color won in major categories, including Zendaya, Regina King, Uzo Aduba and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. This year: zero.

While there weren't any people of color collecting trophies in the acting categories, there were some wins for the culture.

Last weekend, a few people of color won awards during the Creative Arts EMMYs, including Courtney B. Vance, who won Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his guest starring role in HBO's "Lovecraft Country." Comedian Dave Chappelle won Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series for hosting "Saturday Night Live," and Maya Rudolph won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for hosting "Saturday Night Live."

"RuPaul's Drag Race" won Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program during the Creative EMMYs.

Despite the snubs, two Black creatives did win awards that were televised, and made history.

Michaela Coel - who was up for four awards - won the award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for "I May Destroy You." It's the first time a Black woman has won the award and the third time it was given to a Black creative. 

RuPaul made history yet again! The famed TV host and producer won three EMMYs, including Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program, Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program and Outstanding Competition Program for "RuPaul's Drag Race."

RuPaul now has 11 EMMY Awards and now holds the record for the most EMMYs won by a person of color. Congrats!

Photo: Getty

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