“As I sit here on my rooftop in the middle of Brooklyn, in the middle of a pandemic, and the social climate that we’re in, I am honored and grateful to be a part of an important story that is #FreeRayshawn, to be an emotional vessel to shed light on these victims and what their families go through,” first-time nominee Cephas Jones said. “Let’s vote in November, and let’s continue to tell these important stories.”
“Good evening, and first let me say thank you to all the members of the Academy,” said Fishburne, who tonight claimed his second statuette. “My thanks to Antoine Fuqua, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Seith Mann, David Boorstein, Marc Maurino and Michael Martin…my fellow cast mates, to our crew and to the city and people of New Orleans. Peace and blessings to all of you, and thank you so much.”
Conceived in 2018 by Katzenberg, with Meg Whitman on board as CEO, the short-form streaming platform creates content specifically for mobile devices, offering “quick bites,” which can be viewed on the go. Undoubtedly, Quibi’s launch occurred at the most inopportune of times. The service debuted on April 6, shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, which left prospective consumers (and their phones) locked away at home.
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Nonetheless, the streamer secured 10 Emmy nods in its first year of eligibility. Two of their shows, Most Dangerous Game and a Reno 911! reboot, were nominated for the top prize of Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series. Meanwhile, eight actors were recognized for their work on Quibi titles, including a trio from #FreeRayshawn (Fishburne, Cephas Jones and Stephan James), Christoph Waltz (Most Dangerous Game), Corey Hawkins (Survive), Anna Kendrick (Dummy), Kaitlin Olson (Flipped) and Kerri Kenney-Silver (Reno 911!).
Created by Marc Maurino, #FreeRayshawn centers on Rayshawn (James), a young, Black veteran of the Iraq War, who finds himself in a standoff with a SWAT team, after an incident with undercover cops results in unintended, fatal consequences. Trapped in his apartment with his wife (Cephas Jones) and child, Rayshawn looks to social media and a sympathetic police lieutenant (Fishburne), in an effort to clear his name, before he becomes yet another victim of a corrupt justice system.
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