Nominations are not enough if the voter base is not representative of the population.
After a night where the Television Academy constantly patted themselves on the back for all the diverse shows they nominated, they watched as BIPOC missed out on major awards.
There was some inclusion in the nomination stage, with 49 BIPOC nominees recognized in the acting and reality hosting categories. That's 17% more than last year's 42.
“It’s so great to see that television and the stories we tell are finally becoming a reflection of every part of our society. Voices of Black, Latinx, Asian American, and Indigenous creators, along with the LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse, and disabled communities are being heard by larger audiences than ever before,” said Frank Scherma, the chairman of the Television Academy, during the ceremony.
But at what point does inclusion mean anything without wins?
Last year we saw major wins in acting categories, but this year the mostly white shows of Ted Lasso and The Crown swept all of those major awards.
RuPaul made history for the most Emmys won by a person of color after RuPaul’s Drag Race won the outstanding competition series honor for the fourth consecutive year.
We also saw a fantastic speech from Michaela Coel, who was nominated for four awards, but only won for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series for HBO’s I May Destroy You. Coel became the first Black woman to ever win in the category.
Much of this has to do with the voters, who seemed to prioritize only a few shows rather than branching out to award others. While the Television Academy launched a diversity program this year, it seems like they do not have enough members to give serious contention to some of these other shows.
I also want to examine the streamers and networks that didn't put money behind shows with diverse casts and talent. To win Emmys, you also have to market better and campaign for the shows. That means spending to make sure everyone has seen it and that they become a household name.
Where will the Emmys go from here? We think they have to stop paying lip service and get serious about changes.