With the first night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards held while a second monster hurricane in two weeks is barreling towards the U.S., climate change, which has been tied to extreme weather, was on attendees’ minds.
“I sincerely hope that this year becomes the turning point, in that we as a nation begin to address global climate change,” presenter Bill Nye said in a passionate plea to viewers who will tune in to the Creative Arts Emmy telecast on FXX next weekend. “Everyone watching: we can do this. We can make the big changes we need. Working together we can – dare I say it – save the world.”
Mike Gunton, executive producer of Planet Earth II, which addresses the effects of climate change on the animal world, was more subtle when picking up Emmy for Best Documentary or Non-Fiction Series. “(The planet) is crying at the moment,” he said, adding that it needs more love.
Overall, very few presenters and winners engaged in political speech.
The Donald Trump line of the night came from Meghan Kirsch, part of the team accepting the Emmy short-form nonfiction or reality series for Viceland’s At The Women’s March. “Pink will always trump orange,” she said, referring to the pink worn by women who marched against President Trump following his inauguration.
Samantha Bee, who attacks Trump and his policies weekly on her TBS show, only peripherally referred to the political environment in accepting the variety special writing award for her Not The White House Correspondents Dinner.
“These are the people who stand in a jet stream of daily obscenities and manage to write jokes about them,” Bee said about her co-writers on stage and did not take the Trump bait in form of questions backstage.
Also alluding to the current political climate was Ava DuVernay, an Emmy winner for her documentary The 13th, which tackles the topic of racial inequality in the U.S. by exploring the disproportionate incarceration of black Americans.
DuVernay spoke in support of those who are being “aggressively demoralized and devalued. It’s important that we stand up and be heard,” she said, referring to the “people who try to silence us.”