And the Controversial Award Goes To…

Photo from TheVerge.com

That’s right, awards season is back in full swing, and with it comes turmoil and Hollywood drama galore. On Sept. 19, the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held fully in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and by the next day, audience members were fuming.

Protocols

Very early on into the show, Seth Rogen took the stage to present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Rogen made multiple jokes at the expense of the organizers of the Emmys, stating that the invitees had been told that the show would be outdoors. The ceremony was in fact held in an outdoor space which was similar to that of an aerated tent. Rogen went on to say that he “would not have come” if he had known this would be the case.

This caused quite the stir on the internet and soon it was all anyone was talking about. It didn’t take long for the producers of the show, Ian Stewart and Reginald Hudlin, to respond through an interview with Variety, in which Stewart called Rogen’s joke “an unfortunate misdirect.” Stewart went on to explain that months of work had gone into making the Emmys safe, and that everybody in the audience had not only been vaccinated, but had also tested negative beforehand.

Winner Controversy

While that seemed to momentarily quell the internet’s thirst for drama on that topic, the safety regulations were not the only thing that bothered the public and the attendees that night. Reminiscent of its predecessor #OscarsSoWhite, the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite began trending on Twitter after viewers realized that not a single winner in the acting categories had been Black.

Though nominations for Black actors had been at an all-time high this year, wins (or lack thereof) were utterly disappointing to spectators and fans. A 2020 article in The New York Times said that Hollywood is “in the clutches of an extremely public identity crisis, in which the fresh, multicultural image it aspires to … is undermined by the observable evidence.”

A study done by The Undefeated compared this year’s nominations to the past 20 years, finding that despite the increase in nominations, “the proportion of Black actors on the casts of these shows has remained largely the same.” So to say, there hasn’t been as much of an increase in roles for Black actors as the increase in nominations might suggest.

Who do you think should’ve won? Let us know by tagging us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter with your thoughts!

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