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Regina King and Courtney B. Vance win EMMY Awards
Written by Lea Michelle Cash/Published 09/24/2016
It is usually is a “black out” at the annual Emmy Awards, but the Television Academy appears to be getting much better. African American actresses and actors stepped out and showed out on the red carpet at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, held recently on Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
Stars on the carpet were Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Niecy Nash, Viola Davis, Jenifer Lewis, Taraji P. Henson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington, Andre Braugher, and many others. This year the Emmy’s viewers could have a front row seat to the Red Carpet fashions and telecast on their favorite social media networks.
The Co-Host of the evening, ABC’s late night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel, took on the elephants in the room, Hollywood’s diversity, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, through satire and humor. Some of Kimmel’s scripted jokes were funny and most were not, nonetheless, Kimmel at his best is spontaneous and quick-wit, which suited him well during the telecast.
In his opening monologue Kimmel says, “This year's nominees are the most diverse ever. And here in Hollywood, the only thing that we value more than diversity is congratulating ourselves on how much we value diversity. I’ll tell you, the Emmys are so diverse this year, the Oscars are now telling people we’re one of their closest friends.”
This year there were 18 nominees of color for acting awards and several women in directing categories. This is a remarkable improvement. The political jokes and favor politician endorsement rhetoric filled the air and flowed right along with the thank yous to parents, loved ones, producers, agents and cast members. Executive producer Alan Yang, who received an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series” gave a shout out plead to Asian parents to buy their children a camera instead of a violin.
Although there were many winners overjoyed to take home the golden statuette, the night seemed to belong to FX’s biopic miniseries regarding the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. The lead characters that were played by Sarah Paulson (Marcia Clark) and Courtney B. Vance (Johnny Cochran) garnished the Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Limited Series and Movie Award. In total “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” took home five Emmys. Vance appeared to be over the moon, as he closed his acceptance speech with “to the woman that rocks my chain, Angela Bassett”. Sterling K. Brown took home an Emmy for his role as Christopher Darden.
Regina King took home the Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for ABC John Ridley’s critically acclaimed ABC drama “American Crime.” Beating out legendary actress Kathy Bates and Jean Smart. King won last year an Emmy Award along with Viola Davis and Uzo Aduba reflecting “black-girls-rock” television excellence in their categories.
And, there was actress and comedian Leslie Jones. With all that she has been going through in the last few weeks, it was wonderful to see her have a fun moment in the sun. Three accountants from the firm Ernst & Young got more than they bargained for when Jones chatted them up on stage. “Thank you so much Ernst & Young,” she said. “I don’t know who this third dude is, but I really appreciate all of the hard work you do, but let’s be real. Y’all are protecting something that nobody is trying to steal. Don’t nobody want to know about boring Emmy secrets!” Since you good at keeping things safe, I got a job for you: my Twitter account! Put that in the vault, please!”