September 20th 2021 saw the biggest names from the small screen over the last year gather for one of the most prestigious entertainment award shows in the Western World, the Emmys. The 73rd edition of this ceremony saw many stars awarded for their work through some of the most trying recent times, and British talent was on full display! One of the most successful shows of recent years, The Crown, won big, snatching seven trophies, including ‘Best Drama’. The show also swept the 4 acting categories for serial drama, with Norwich native Olivia Colman winning ‘Best Actress, Drama’ for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II, as well as wins for Josh O’Connor in ‘Best Actor, Drama’ for portraying Prince Charles, Tobias Menzies in ‘Best Supporting Actor, Drama’ for portraying The Duke of Edinburgh, and Gillian Anderson in ‘Best Supporting Actress, Drama’ for chillingly portraying Margaret Thatcher.
Other notable British wins were for Michaela Coel in ‘Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special’ for her sex, consent, and relationships drama I May Destroy You, the first time a black woman has won in this category; Kate Winslet in ‘Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie’ for her performance in the American Midwestern crime drama Mare of Easttown, and Ewan McGregor in ‘Best Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie’ for his performance as American stylist and fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick in Halston. Ted Lasso, a comedy about an American football coach hired to manage an English football team, won big in the Comedy awards section, winning four awards, including ‘Best Comedy’ and ‘Best Actor, Comedy’ for Jason Sudeikis’ portrayal of the show’s eponymous character.
While there was much to celebrate there were several drawbacks to the evening. For example, though a record number of people of colour were nominated in the acting categories, (including Mj Rodriguez being the first transgender performer to be nominated in a lead acting category for her work in Pose), none walked away with an award, a decline from four POC winners the previous year.
This means that, though recent years have seen progression in racial diversity of nominees, the recognition of the talents and work of POCs as the best in the highly politicised entertainment industry still needs to be cracked wide open, and to include more Asian, Latino, and other minority demographics in mainstream entertainment that award shows like the Emmys celebrate.