In a year that has seen renewed calls for inclusion, the Emmy Awards delivered more diversity among the nominees announced Tuesday.
In the acting categories, 33% of the nominees are Black, compared with 14% the five years prior, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
Their analysis found that performers of color made up 37% of the total of nominations overall, which is 6% more than in any of the past five years.
HBO’s superhero series “Watchmen,” which showcased storylines focused on America’s racial history, nabbed the most overall Emmy nominations with 26.
Reginald Hudlin, well known for having directed classic African-American films “Boomerang” and “House Party,” will produce the Emmys – the show’s first Black producer.
But there has been some backlash over the nominations falling short on representation.
Some on social media complained that while Billy Porter, who is Black, was nominated for lead actor in a drama series for “Pose,” none of the central trans actors on the show received a nod.
The Ryan Murphy series has been hailed for shining a light on the LGBTQ community, something Porter acknowledged in an Instagram post after the nominations were announced Tuesday.
“Thank you @televisionacad. And congratulations to my fellow nominees,” Porter wrote. “The work we do on @poseonfx is so important. I am so blessed and lucky to be a part of this groundbreaking show.”
While “Ramy” became the first Muslim American sitcom to score a nomination with co-creator and star Ramy Youssef earning noms for outstanding lead actor and outstanding directing in a comedy series, there was less to celebrate for other minorities.
Asian artists were not well represented, despite the third consecutive Emmy nomination for Sandra Oh in the lead actress in a drama series category for “Killing Eve.”
Oh made history in 2018 as the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated in a lead actress category.
The lack of Latinx representation – most notably EGOT winner Rita Moreno for her work in the comedy “One Day At a Time” – led Daily Beast writer Laura Bradley to highlight that “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,” Bradley wrote. “Not Melissa Barrera or Mishel Prada of Vida, a series that pushed past stereotypical Latinx stories to discuss deeper, more nuanced issues that pervade our community before it was canceled too soon.”
In introducing the nomination ceremony on Tuesday, Television Academy chairman and chief executive officer Frank Scherma touched on the extraordinary times we are living in amid a global pandemic and a cultural reckoning with racism.
“This year we are also bearing witness to one of the greatest fights for social justice in history,” he said. “And it is our duty to use this medium for change.”
Viewers will be watching to see if that change extends to not just nominations, but also wins for people of color.
The 72nd Emmy Awards will air September 20 on ABC.