Award shows are often a hotbed for politically or socially charged moments. That has never been more ture than it is today in Donald Trump’s America. Most of the times these moments come in monologues or acceptance speeches, occasionally during or through musical performances. The Emmys were no exception, from the opening monologue onward except with an added wrinkle. It seemed to many observers, this one included, that the shows and people that won was an added statement as well.
People of color and women won big, with “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Big Little Lies” and “Veep;” all shows that star and feature women heavily, winning. This is not to take away from the quality of the shows either, they all were deserving winners. Donald Glover, Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, who is an African American gay woman and a well-known LGBTQIA advocate, won for their respective shows in writing and in Glover’s case, for directing as well. These are all segments of the population that have been the most vocal in their distaste for President Trump.
The fact that the winners’ list was diverse is a heart-warming sign for many reasons. The Oscars and Grammys have recently been in hot water for their lack of inclusion in voting boards and winners. It was refreshing to see the Emmys, specifically the voting body, embrace the ever-shifting culture of America. It also shows that entertainment with messages of hope, inclusion or resistance; all important in trying political times, are being recognized.
The most apparent shot across the bow of the White House (besides Sean Spicer’s surprising cameo) was the show that took away the most awards on the night, “Saturday Night Live” with 9 Emmys. This included a win for Alec Baldwin for 'Best Actor in a Comedy Series' for his impersonation of Donald Trump. The show was politically charged as always but spent an arguable larger majority of its time than ever before in making light of Trump and his administration than the many White Houses the show has lampooned in its career.
In a night filled with some surprises, the most pleasant was the overall message of inclusion and hope that was echoed from presenters, winners and honorees.
For a complete list of winners visit https://www.emmys.com/awards/nominees-winners