FILE PHOTO: Reed Hastings (L), co-founder and CEO of Netflix, and Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, pose for photographs during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, June 30, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Nominations released on Wednesday for this year’s Emmy awards revealed more diversity in the pool of nominees compared to previous years, although critics said the nominations did not reach far enough. 

HBO’s “Watchmen,” which highlights storylines focused on America’s racial history, garnered the most nominations overall, while a variety of Netflix shows dominated across all categories. The Los Angeles Times found that performers of color made up 6% more of the nominations compared to any of the past five years, with 37% of the total of nominations this year. In the acting categories, 33% of the nominees are Black. Some history was made as the show “Ramy” became the first Muslim American sitcom to be nominated for an Emmy, while the star and co-creator Ramy Youssef earned his first Emmy nomination for acting.  

Still, critics called out a lack of nominations for key transgender actors on the show “Pose,” though Black actor Billy Porter was nominated for his acting on the series. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus also tweeted that the gap in Latinx nominees was a “demoralizing disappointment for the U.S.’s largest minority group.” Among those who missed a nomination was Rita Moreno for “One Day at a Time,” Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada for “Vida,” and Laura Gómez for “Orange Is the New Black,” among many others, critics said. Essence, a lifestyle magazine for Black women, highlighted actresses such as Tiffany Boone for “Little Fires Everywhere,” Viola Davis for “How To Get Away With Murder” and Angelica Ross for “Pose” among those who were snubbed by the Emmys, adding that it won’t be the last time they will be looked over. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Emmy nominations, from ‘Succession’ to ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ put premium on diversity – Reuters – 7/29/2020. Half of the nominees for best comedy series were Emmy newcomers, such as female-driven “Dead To Me” and Issa Rae’s “Insecure” take on 20-something Black women in Los Angeles. “Women of all ages and color have never had it better,” said Helena Bonham Carter, who was nominated for playing Britain’s Princess Margaret in “The Crown.”

Emmy Nominations 2020: How Diversity Fared in This Year of Racial Reckoning – Vanity Fair – 7/29/2020. In fact, many of the actors of color are frequently nominated but rarely win, suggesting a tokenism trap that the ceremony needs to avoid if it is serious about representing real change in Hollywood. And while there were gains for Black and Asian performers this year—and for Ramy Youssef, who is of Egyptian descent and was nominated for both lead actor and director for the second season of his Hulu comedy series, Ramy—the lack of Latinx recognition was glaring.

What the Hell Do Latinx Actors Have to Do to Get an Emmy Nomination? – The Daily Beast – 7/28/2020. Tuesday’s Emmy nominations included only one Latinx actor, Outstanding Guest in a Drama Series nominee Alexis Bledel. But not Rita Moreno, who has been killing it on One Day at a Time for four seasons. Not Laura Gómez, whose performance in Orange Is the New Black’s excellent final season was alternatively haunting and inspiring—and as timely as it gets.

Emmy Diversity: Nonwhite Performers Score a Record 41% of Acting Nominations This Year – The Wrap – 7/28/2020. In terms of racial diversity, the comedy categories (42.5% nonwhite) fared slightly better than the drama categories (32.5% nonwhite), buoyed by a supporting actor category made up primarily of Black actors including Andre Braugher of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” William Jackson Harper of “The Good Place” and Mahershala Ali of “Ramy.”

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Sharon Waxman on Twitter, 7/29/2020: And can we give a shout-out for the progress in Lead Actor in Comedy category. The diverse group of nominees here says we’re moving in the right direction – congrats @anthonyanderson @DonCheadle @ramy – props and thanks for the work! #Emmys2020

Senator Bob Menendez on Twitter, 7/29/2020: I didn’t grow up seeing people like me in the media and always hoped my kids & grandkids could see more actors & actresses representing them on TV. It’s disappointing to see only one Latino Emmy nominee this year. The entire industry needs to do better. 

Amber J. Phillips on Twitter, 7/29/2020:  This headline should read: “Emmys 2020: White people continue to dominate entertainment, Latino representation still abysmal” Focus on your target. Insecure and Watchmen didn’t take your nominations…white people did. Also…BLACK LATINX PEOPLE EXIST! Our win is your win.

John Bechard on Twitter, 7/29/2020:  Wow was I right about this! One episode and I understand the Emmy nominations.

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