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Big Win for Diversity at Emmy’s

After a flurry of criticism following a very whitewashed Oscar season, television faired much better with people of color and genderqueer people scoring big wins at the Emmy Awards on Sunday. These wins highlight a much more diverse and accepting landscape for the television industry as compared to the film industry, which has been recently criticized for not recognizing diverse talent, whitewashing roles, and giving transgender female roles to cisgender men.

Big wins went to Rami Maleck for Mr. Robot, making the Egyptian-American actor the first nonwhite actor to win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama in nearly two decades. Saturday Night Live’s first openly gay star, Kate McKinnon won for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, making her the first actor or actress from SNL to win in that category (several guest stars have won in a separate category.)

Several people took to the stage to call for more diversity. Jeffrey Tambor, who won for Transparent, urged the industry to cast transgender people in transgender roles, adding that he would not be "...unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television.” Master of None creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang took to the stage to accept an Emmy for writing, and Yang urged for diversity in film and TV. “…I know we can get there. I believe in us. It’s just going to take a lot of hard work.”

With a wide plethora of content available on television and online, it’s easier now than ever to create diverse content. Hopefully this will be a trend that continues as television gets better and more diverse. People need representation, and people need to have their voices heard.

Image: Jim Smeal, BEI, Shutterstock