The 2022 Emmy nominations were announced on July 12. Although they recognized many marginalized actors, the number of diverse nominees has shot down since 2021.
Stars from the shows “Squid Game,” “Ted Lasso” and “Abbott Elementary” earned well-deserved praise. They make up half of the non-white nominations.
The nominee list broke barriers by recognizing six Korean actors: lead actor Lee Jung-jae, supporting actors Park Hae-soo and Oh Yeong-su, supporting actress Jung Ho-yeon and guest actress Lee Yoo-mi, all stars of the Netflix Korean drama series “Squid Game.” Sandra Oh was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for “Killing Eve.”
Actors Quinta Brunson, Janelle James, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Tyler James Williams of “Abbott Elementary” were all included in the list of nominees. Brunson was also recognized for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, making her the first Black woman to receive three Emmy nominations in one year for the same comedy series. Considering this is her show’s first season, it is an incredibly impressive accomplishment.
Four actors of color received nominations for the comedy series “Ted Lasso”: supporting actors Toheeb Jimoh and Nick Mohammed, supporting actress Sarah Niles and guest actor Sam Richardson.
Although these shows hold a majority of the non-white nominations, other actors of color, such as Zendaya for “Euphoria” and Donald Glover for “Atlanta,” were also nominated.
However, it is hard to ignore that there was a 37% drop in actors of color nominations since 2021.
This may be due to the fact that actors from “Hamilton,” “Lovecraft Country” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” all shows that are no longer eligible for nomination, made up 15 of the people of color nominated in 2021.
The Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series were all-white categories. The TV Academy also came short in the recognition of Latinx and Hispanic actors, with Oscar Isaac of “Scenes from a Marriage” and Colman Domingo of “Euphoria” being the only two nominees.
There were repeat nominees, as well, that did not make the cut this year, such as Giancarlo Esposito of “Better Call Saul” and Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live.”
Even with the added diversity, white actors won all lead and supporting categories in 2021.
The TV Academy has some work to do in order to build a fair environment where BIPOC actors are given the same treatment as white actors in terms of recognition. It is not enough to nominate marginalized actors when all of the winners end up being white.
The Emmy nominees fell short compared to last year, but we can hold out hope that the winners for 2022 will make history.