Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: Highlights and disappointments from the 2022 Emmy Awards

<p>Sheryl Lee Ralph accepts the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for &quot;Abbott Elementary&quot; at the 74th Primetime Emmys on Sept. 12, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.</p>

Sheryl Lee Ralph accepts the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for "Abbott Elementary" at the 74th Primetime Emmys on Sept. 12, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

On Monday night, the 74th Annual Emmy Award winners were announced, and the results were both monumental and disappointing. 

The live show competitive categories consisted of Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Limited/Anthology Series to Outstanding Lead and Supporting, Directing and Writing. 

Sheryl Lee Ralph of “Abbott Elementary” won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. This makes her the second woman of color to win in this category, the first being Jackée Harry in 1987 for the sitcom “227.” 

“To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream and thought your dream wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like. This is what striving looks like,” Ralph said in her speech after singing “Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves. 

“Abbott Elementary” took home a second award in the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series category, making writer Quinta Brunson the first Black woman to ever win this award solo.

[Related: Chadwick Boseman’s work continues to be nominated posthumously]

Another highlight was comedian Jerrod Carmichael winning Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special. He famously came out as gay in his special, “Rothanial” released in April, and has since talked about the struggles that come with revealing that part of himself. 

“I made something that was of great personal consequence to me and this definitely contributes to the meaning of it,” Carmichael said in his acceptance speech

Zendaya won a second time for her performance as Rue on “Euphoria.” She is now the first and youngest Black woman to win twice in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. 

Squid Game” actor Lee Jung-jae won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, beating out big names like Jason Bateman and Brian Cox. 

The other categories that awarded white people or programs fronted by white people include Outstanding Drama Series, both supporting categories for a drama series, Outstanding Comedy Series, all actor categories for a comedy series except for supporting actress, Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, along with the rest of the acting categories for a Limited or Anthology Series, Outstanding Variety Talk Series, Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and several more. 

Marginalized actors such as Bowen Yang, Donald Glover and Quinta Brunson all lost to their white peers. “Ted Lasso” won Outstanding Comedy Series for the second year in a row, beating out “Abbott Elementary.” 

Only seven awards out of the 25 televised categories were awarded to people of color or programs led by people of color. It seemed disappointing when the Academy released the nominations, revealing a decline in actors of color being recognized.

[Related: Black Voices: The Emmy nominations still have a ways to go to improve diversity]

It is now easy to see the Academy has no problem diversifying its presenting pool throughout the event, with presenters such as Oprah Winfrey, Ariana DeBose and Angela Bassett. However, when it comes to awarding people in the industry, they consistently show their favor toward white actors.

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