EMMYS: Record 11 Black Actors & Actresses Nominated Across All Categories

Last year Kerry Washington and Don Cheadle made Emmy history as two African American actors breaking through the lead acting categories at the same time with nominations.  Not only did they both earn nominations again this year, but a total of 11 Black actors and actresses were nominated across all acting categories — the most since 1977 when Roots racked up nine nominations for its castmembers according to TV Academy stats (Roots wound up winning trophies for Olivia Cole  and Louis Gossett Jr).  Last year Washington’s nom for Scandal repped the first in nearly two decades for a black actress, the last being Cicely Tyson in 1995’s Sweet Justice. This year, Washington will be running into Tyson on the red carpet as she’s also up for an nomination in the lead movie/miniseries actress category for The Trip to Bountiful. Another big year for Black thesps was 1986, when The Cosby Show earned eight acting nominations and a guest comedy actor win for Roscoe Lee Browne. Typically the Emmys, similar to the Oscars, has been criticized for a lack of diversity in the past.

mark evan jackson“It’s a testament to the storytelling that is going on out there,” Andre Braugher, who plays Captain Ray Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, said this morning about the record. “If you look at what Fox is doing with diverse comedies, there’s The Mindy Project and our show. There’s a new dimension of half-hour comedies that don’t depend on stereotypes or the boxes we put people in. I play a gay police captain on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and I’m not the butt of the joke. That’s revolutionary for TV.”

Added Cheadle about the trend, “It definitely reps a widening of the storytelling and more inclusive ideology of the shared stories and experiences we all have. It’s creeping toward something, but there’s still a lack of recognition for other nationalities. It’s definitely better, but it’s not something you can pin too much on as a trend since next year could be lower.”

Of the 11 this year, there’s Washington in Scandal (lead drama actress), Joe Morton also in Scandal (guest actor drama), Cheadle in House Of Lies (lead actor comedy series), Braugher for Brooklyn Nine-Nine (supporting comedy actor), Chiwetel Ejiofor in Starz’s Dancing On The Edge, Idris Elba for Luther (both in movie/miniseries actor category), Tyson in Trip to Bountiful (lead actress movie/miniseries), Angela Bassett in American Horror Story: Coven (movie/miniseries supporting actress), Reg. E. Cathey in House Of Cards (guest actor drama), and Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox in Orange Is The New Black (both guest actress comedy series).

  1. Great! Now lets get some noms behind the camera as well!

    And Academy, while I’m thrilled that we are more African-American inclusive than ever, we’ve really got to work on getting more Latino’s and Asians in the mix. Making the industry a true melting pot is not only good for story (as more cultural influence makes for better storytelling), but good for long term business. Overall though, this is an awesome start.

    BTW, happy to see Transgender artist Laverne Cox nominated as well.

  2. Black actors are making huge strides in show business. It’s great. Now I’d love to see more Asian, Hispanic, Native American, actors with disabilities, women of a certain size and women over 40 showcased more. Get with it Hollywood.

    1. That’s a pretty long list of demands you have there. How about we honor the person who gave the best performance? No matter what shape or color they are.

      p.s. Actors with disabilities?

  3. Of course there are more black winners….there are just more black PEOPLE. White children have been the minority in the USA since 2011, and the black population continues to explode (both in the US and globally).

    With ever-plummeting fertility rates for whites and East Asians, black people are the present and the future of planet Earth!

  4. Fabulous, but how about we strive to let the MOST TALENTED FOLKS GET THE PRAISE THEY DESERVE regardless of their race color national origin or whatever. That is the point isn’t it ?

    1. I think the point is, Rich, that they ARE finally starting to award the Most Talented. And some of those happen to be black and are being recognized.

  5. Racism continues when we notice skin color and bring it to attention! May the best win, regardless of race. And speaking of race…if we keep mentioning it, where are the other races?

  6. Andre Braugher is way overdoing it. “Brooklyn 99” is a funny show, end of story. There’s nothing about it’s being diverse or how it deals with stereotypes that makes it any better or any funnier or any more watchable than it is. It’s just a good show.

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